3 March 2017

Finding Forward Momentum in Local Actions – Final Thoughts

Posted by Shane Hanlon

By Christy Till. This is the 3rd part in a 3-part series in which a US scientist reflects on the women’s march, making sense of the current political landscape, and finding answers in local science communication activities. See part one here and two here.  

“Polarizing people is a good way to win an election, and also a good way to wreck a country.”  – Molly Ivins

Perhaps some of the local actions I discussed previously resonate with you. Or perhaps they don’t, which is good too. Because I believe that in order to ensure a strong scientific future, we need a variety of approaches.

We need those who want to march in the streets for science, those who want to talk to politicians and policy makers, those who want to run for political office, those who want to take positions shaping science policy, those who want to reach out to local schools and bolster K-12 science education, those in higher education teaching and mentoring budding scientists, those who work to communicate science and its power broadly and through it all, those who continue to do high-quality scientific research every single day. And most of all, we will need each other.  There is a role for you, wherever feels right.

I still do not have the answers, or a way to make sense out of the current scientific-political landscape. But, I now have hope that I will find them, little by little, in the types of constructive actions I discussed in my previous post. And, that whatever I find will be part of a larger solution to ensure a strong scientific America, one that is composed of the many, many small solutions that everyone finds for themselves.

Christy Till is an Assistant Professor in the School of Earth & Space Exploration at Arizona State University who leads a multidisciplinary research program that studies the role of magma in the formation and evolution of planets. She previously served as Vice Chair of the Council of the American Geophysical Union (2012-2014).

Prof. Christy Till and ASU graduate student Meghan Guild visit the location of Mt. Fuji’s 1909 eruption during field work, Japan. Photo Credit: Christy Till.