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Sunday, April 23, 2017

#MarchForScience San Francisco

OK, so, I grabbed one of my many Health 2.0 Conference press lanyards, made up a fake generic 2-sided highly visible 4x6 "press pass" to put in the plastic sleeve, and put it on after I got off BART, hoping it might serve to get cops/security peeps to not hassle me were I trying to get photos from certain locations that might be "out of bounds."

A young volunteer saw it and pointed me to a tent behind the stage inside the metal barriers and rope lines. "Have you signed in yet? They have the the press packets and food and drinks back there." She escorted me to the area, where another young volunteer with a clipboard took my card and signed me in, and gave me a 2nd pass, the one with the event logo.

Sweet. I'd not even noticed on the website that you could apply to pre-register as "media," given the tumultuous events in our lives the past few weeks in the wake of my daughter's diagnosis. Didn't even think about it.

Great turnout. Huge crowd. A few of my pics:

Baratunde Thurston. That cat is funny!
I even made it into a CBS affiliate news segment, LOL (lower left corner, camera raised over my head).

I have a lot more shots (took more than 100), but, you get the idea. The pro photographers were all over it. A zillion shots are up on Twitter and all major media.

I have yet to see any crowd size estimates, other than vague "tens of thousands" (which is what it looked like to me).

Physicians Make Themselves Heard at the March for Science

WASHINGTON — Physicians added their voices, their presence, and their passion to the thousands of people who spent a rainy Saturday here in support of the principles and practice of science.

The March for Science, held in conjunction with Earth Day in Washington, DC, and an estimated 600 satellite marches worldwide, is "the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments," according to the site's website.

In a rally held prior to the DC march from the Washington Monument to Congress, more than 50 speakers representing all realms of science — from climate to space to science education to nature conservancy to biological and chemical science — exhorted the crowd to continue to press for science funding and against the anti-science attitudes and "alternative facts" some have said are coming from the Trump administration.

Ignore Science at "Own Peril"

Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director of the American Public Health Association, was among a handful of physician speakers. "Public health science is the heart of so many successes that have prolonged our lives and improved our well-being," he said in his remarks, listing seat belts, vaccines, and a reduction in the threat of second-hand tobacco smoke as examples.
"A nation that ignores science, that denies science, that underfunds science, does so at its own peril. We cannot allow this to happen. We need to ensure that data and evidence drive policy-making, not uniformed ideology," he said in his speech...
Trump on Earth Day: 'Rigorous science is critical to my administration'
He stressed "jobs matter" over environment


(CNN) - President Donald Trump declared his support for the environment and scientific research on his first Earth Day in the White House amid harsh criticisms over his actions to roll back environmental regulations and proposed cuts to non-military spending, including at the Environmental Protection Agency.

"Rigorous science is critical to my administration's efforts to achieve the twin goals of economic growth and environmental protection," Trump said in a statement Saturday as thousands of marchers filled the streets of downtown Washington to support science and evidence-based research -- a protest partly fueled by opposition to Trump's threats of budget cuts to agencies funding scientists' work.

"My administration is committed to advancing scientific research that leads to a better understanding of our environment and of environmental risks," Trump said. "As we do so, we should remember that rigorous science depends not on ideology, but on a spirit of honest inquiry and robust debate.

"This April 22nd, as we observe Earth Day, I hope that our nation can come together to give thanks for the land we all love and call home," Trump added...
"Robust debate" is the Trumpian denialism dog-whistle code phrase for endless continuing obstructive "debate" over matters of science where the accrued weight of credible overwhelming empirical scientific consensus must yield to small minorities of irrational skeptical voices and the disingenuous voices of well-heeled incumbent commercial interests.

"Fair and balanced," my ass.

Among the many works I've cited and reviewed on this blog (see also my post "I am not a scientist"), I refer you again to Shawn Otto's must-read.

See also

Just to cite three for now.


It behooves us to not underestimate the difficulties we face in overcoming ignorance (a good bit of it willful), irrational doubt, and Trumpian venality.

Yeah, I know, that's kind of obtuse, perhaps. Great song, though.

Second verse:
Outcast is all he's ever been.
Holy fathers doomed and branded him with sin.
They taxed his soul and made it hard to survive.
Only one path for Galileo so he lied.
He found the truth on his own,
And what he finally discovered...He had to rub the stone.
Lots more to say about this stuff.


From The Atlantic:
"Book publishers are rarely held accountable for publishing invalid health information. Rather, there seems to be an incentive to publish the most outlandish claims that purport to upend everything the reader has ever heard ... Cycles of fad dieting and insidious misinformation undermine both public health and understanding of how science works, giving way to a sense of chaos. It seems that every doctor has their own opinion about how to protect your body from calamity, and all are equally valid, because nothing is ever truly known."
'eh? From "The Next Gluten."

"On April 29th, Donald Trump will have occupied the Oval Office for a hundred days. For most people, the luxury of living in a relatively stable democracy is the luxury of not following politics with a nerve-racked constancy. Trump does not afford this. His Presidency has become the demoralizing daily obsession of anyone concerned with global security, the vitality of the natural world, the national health, constitutionalism, civil rights, criminal justice, a free press, science, public education, and the distinction between fact and its opposite..."

More to come...

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