The 2016 Election is now on our doorstep, and most Americans have their own fears (and hopes… but mainly fears) about what the next 24 hours will bring. For a lot of ‘science people’ like myself, our particular fear is rooted in the potential disaster a Trump Presidency could bring on scientific research and innovation — and the resulting impact this would have on the US economy.
If Trump is elected (God forbid) — the evidence does not look good. Trump is a man who has described Global Warming as a hoax. He’s said vaccines cause autism. He has pledged to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, and reverse Obama’s regulations for climate protection. Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, is strongly against stem cell research, and could threaten to turn back the progress we’ve made in saving lives. Trump is a guy who goes around defaming our National Institute of Health.
We have every reason to believe that science could be the first in Trump’s firing line if he becomes President. We all know that he does not like evidence, logic, facts and such.
It’s so easy for politicians, especially one like Trump, to cut funding for science. We as a public don’t often think about how much scientific progress that we’ve made. We don’t walk around going ‘Hey, guess what — I don’t have polio right now!’. Science just did it. We don’t walk around going, ‘Hey — guess what — I’m not dying of starvation!’. We don’t think about all the research that’s gone into agriculture science. We don’t walk around going ‘It’s so awesome that we’re not dying from floods or typhoid in our dirty drinking water’. These things didn’t just happen — they’re the result of decades of scientific research and development.
That’s why we created this video: ‘What Has Science Ever Done For Us?’ to show just how much value science adds to our everyday lives. The video is a parody of What Have The Romans Ever Done For Us? a famous scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian. It depicts a bleak future where President Trump has applied austerity measures to science and innovation funding.
We thought the Monty Python scene was so relevant to the position we find ourself in today. Because, if you ask the question ‘What has science ever done for us?’ — the answer is actually ‘Everything’.
The reason that the US is a leader when it comes to innovation and technology is because they have extremely strong universities and research institutions, who’ve managed to attract the world’s best talent into their public and private corporations. There’s definitely a lot of backwards steps that are easy to make and forward momentum that could be killed overnight.
It’s a really scary position to be in, where, in a few months, scientists across the nation could find their funding cut. So voters really need to think about all the progress we’ve made and how much we have to lose.
I know who I’ll be voting for — and it’s not Trump. Or a third party.