How is a good ecologist to react to the new administration in Washington?Leave a Comment
March 6, 2017 Like many of you, I have found it hard to know how to react to the style, tone, and substance of the new administration in Washington….Unfortunately, the absence of science and scientists in the Trump administration has not changed. Likewise, Trump’s actions on environmental policy have been consistent with all earlier indications….So how should we – the 10,000 members of ESA – react?
…Please see, for example, ESA’s letter on scientific integrity and joint letters on the immigration ban, the importance of a president’s science advisor appointment, the Waters of the US rule, and more that are found online. …While I recognize that a diversity of views is likely to exist among ESA members, I hope that many of you will find these reflections useful as you consider how to react as individual members of ESA. I also recommend ESA Past-president Jane Lubchenco’s recent commentary on “Environmental science in a post-truth world,” in Frontiers of Ecology and the Environment.
First, what binds ESA members together is our respect for science, commitment to rigorous peer review and publication of research, and a desire to see our science interpreted and used appropriately. We must continue to advocate – more strongly than ever – that representatives of science and rigorous scientific analysis are essential to policy-making. Call, write, and visit your local, state, and national representatives and your senators. Consider participating in or otherwise supporting April’s March for Science.
Second, we must not allow ourselves to be arrogant or make it easy for others to perceive us that way. Science must be at the policy-making table, but in a democracy, many diverse considerations belong at the decision-making table. We must be more aggressive promoters of science, but we must simultaneously be humble in recognition that our unique role is not solely important….
Third, we must seek to understand and engage respectfully with our family members, neighbors, and other fellow citizens at work, on the street, and in community groups who share President Trump’s enthusiasm for reversing environmental regulations….Double-down on your engagement in outreach and education.