017 found a variety of fascinating scientific discoveries, but it was also a year where science appeared to be under attack.
Not all of the bad moments were related to Washington, but in a peculiar season when nothing appeared to stay untouched by , many of them were political.
Here’s some minutes that Inverse found really, really, really bad:
1. After Senate Confirmed Scott Pruitt because the Head of the Environmental Protection Agency
On February 17, Scott Pruitt, who’d sued the EPA more than a dozen occasions since the Attorney-General of Oklahoma, was confirmed 52-48 because of its new head, moving ahead with President Trump’s stated goal throughout the campaign of dismantling the EPA — or at least significantly weakening it. “We are likely to have small tidbits left but we are likely to get the majority of it out.”
Pruitt was known as a “climate change denier”, along with his actions at the EPA indicate it. A few of the measures that he’s taken since getting EPA head has bThe included removing webpages that provided details on climate change and the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, as well as eliminating any references to global warming and climate change out of its own documents.
It is not just about words – though those are important – Pruitt’s EPA has rolled back at least 60 Obama-era ecological regulations.
2. The Trump Budget Proposal That Would Significantly Slash Science Funding
In May, the Trump administration presented its comprehensive budget request on Congress, which would significantly slash mathematics funding for any variety of government agencies. The EPA’s capital will be cut by 31 per cent, Center for Disease Control (CDC) by 17 per cent, the National Institute for Health (NIH) by 11 per cent, and the Department of the Interior by 12 percent.
Needless to say, these budget cuts have never been accepted by Congress yet, and some of them have been rejected (such as the cuts into the NIH, which actually obtained more funding in a statement approved by Congress) but nonetheless, the president would be sending a very clear message on the absence of worth his administration places on mathematics.
And since the national government is just one of the major funders of scientific study in the nation, this will have long-lasting impacts on mathematics in the us.
3. Donald Trump’s Announcement That U.S. Will Withdraw from Paris Climate-Change Agreement
On June 1, making his announcement from the Rose Garden, Donald Trump said, “I had been chosen to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” and continued to declare the United States would withdraw from the most critical climate agreement of arguably the last century.
The withdrawal won’t go into effect until 2020, but the message the administration is sending regarding the U.S. ‘s part in climate change is clear. The moment was bad not only for mathematics — though it didn’t represent a very clear rejection of scientific fact — except for the whole Earth, because the entire planet is influenced by climate change.
4. The Moment which Syria Signed On into the Paris Climate Accords
On November 7, at a working group meeting on the Paris Climate Accords, the delegation out of Syria announced its intent to signal on the Paris Climate-Change Accords, thereby departing the United States because the only nation which has not signed on.
It was already a significant drawback for America’s idea leadership in mathematics when Trump had announced his intent to withdraw the United States from the climate change agreement in June, however the simple fact that Syria, beset by an ongoing civil war currently in its own seventh year along with also the worst refugee crisis on earth, could identify the scientific truth of climate change, has been humiliation for climate science in America — but a triumph for science internationally. (And we can get behind this.)
5. S****l Harassment Allegations at Antartica Research Base
Science has long been a male-dominated field, and this isn’t aided by the s****l harassment which feminine scientists confront, particularly at remote field locations.
The facts of harassment are not new, but a mixture of this #MeToo movement which has supported many previously silenced women to speak up, as well as some very public, prominent, and disturbing [group of allegations] pitted against a notable Boston University geologist while he headed research jobs in Antarctica has attracted this fact into the forefront of this scientific community.
The accurate ‘really awful moment’ here isn’t, obviously, these allegations came to light, but instead, the original incidents of harassment happened whatsoever. Nevertheless, it’s surely a significant moment of reckoning to the scientific area.
6. After Congress and Senate Passed Overhaul of Tax Strategy — such as Taxing Graduate Student Fee Waivers
The [GOP tax policy] will have significant consequences on all aspects of American life, ” since the New York Times has reported, but additionally, it has severe negative implications to the future of mathematics in placing a brand new tax burden on graduate students, including those in mathematics, technology, , and math (STEM). Graduate students usually receive fee waivers for tuition (meaning they don’t need to cover tuition, however they don’t get paid) as well as modest stipends to cover their expenses. Even though stipends were taxed, tuition waivers were not.
Even the GOP tax bill has changed this, so that poor graduate students are currently likely to be compensated for they don’t even get. This will “likely decrease economic viability and competitiveness as talent is lost from the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) enterprise,” since Jeremy Berger, the editor of Science magazine wrote.
7. When French President Launched a Talent War for American Researchers
On December 11, ” French President Emmanual Macron’s Make Our Planet Great Again initiative, a clear dig at President Donald Trump’s campaign motto, announced its first 18 recipients, which included 13 scientists currently working in the United States.
Since paleoclimatologist Frédéric Parrenin at the Institute for Geosciences of this Environment in Grenoble, France, told Science Magazine in a meeting, 18 scientists do not represent a revolution. “This program is extremely symbolic: France today takes a major part on earth to push ahead climate policies.”
But symbols are important, and also symbolic in the announcement was in which it had been made: at the One Climate Summit, an invite-only event of world leaders to coincide with the week-long anniversary of the Paris Climate Accords — to which President Donald Trump wasn’t invited.
8. When We Realized Exactly How Big of a “Fake News” Problem Science Has
At the Geekwire Summit in October, University of Washington information scientist revealed the scope of the imitation news – or, instead, fake science problem.
“Much like in the normal world, people are producing journals by putting up a WordPress website and saying, ‘I am the Journal of Todd’s Dog-Killing Organization. If you despise dogs, then you need to write a research article,”’ He said on a board discussion.
In September, Motherboard reported that there were 8,000 fake science journals that publish anything using a fee — without a peer review. This is bad for scientists conducting research, as well as the public and its own trust of legitimate science when queries are necessarily increased.
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