Brian Glanz » Defending Science

This Brian Glanz is a social entrepreneur in Seattle, as on Twitter, Flickr, LibraryThing, Seattle Net Tuesday, Slashdot, Defend Science, MSNBC,, et al.

Defending Science

Defending ScienceThe organization Defend Science released a collection of “Comments from Signatories of the Defend Science Statement” and I am honored mine was included.

They write: Comments from a cross-section of our signatories provide a glimpse at the the depth of concern to Defend Science, the broad support for this initiative, and the diversity of viewpoints that gives strength to this effort.

My comment was:

All people must employ critical thinking, must understand the scientific method, and discern clearly between fact and opinion, between truth and theory, and between understanding and belief. It is essential for the progress and truly for the life of humanity that we educate and inspire with science. It is our responsibility to do so, as scientific and educated and motivated people. This fire is not a mystical gift we were given, rather it is of our making and in it humanity should take its greatest pride. The fire of science as a gift will also not be given to others supernaturally, rather we must share the warmth, force, and light of it. When threatened by mass fear of the unknown, we must stand up with courage and defend the bravery of discovery, the human will to demystify, to know, and to understand.

My gainful employment is currently in software, and I was cited as “Brian Glanz, Software Developer.”

Other signatories’ comments are at times alarming, touching, and all of them challenging. I will paste another half dozen below from other signatories which I want to emphasize. If you’d prefer, read the full collection here.

Then, review and sign the Defend Science Statement.

More Comments from Signatories of the Defend Science Statement:

The defense of the scientific method should be viewed as part of a larger fight to protect basic civil liberties from the onslaught of corporate-funded, right-wing extremism.

Matthew LaHaye, Caltech, Department of Physics

Six years ago I took the ‘defence of science’ seriously and formed a nonprofit California Corporation with the mission to promote science education be encouraging existing institutions to sponsor and produce EVENTS to celebrate Darwin, Science and Humanity. The events are held each year on, or near Feb.12, Darwin’s Birthday and are open to the public. In addition, are promoting a GLOBAL celebration in 2009 for Darwins bicentennial birthday. I invite all scientists who support the ‘Defence of Science’ to visit our website and participate in by developing their own EVENT each year. We must cooperate in this important effort to Defend Science!

– Robert Stephens, President, Darwin Day Celebration

It is a sad commentary on the current political and social climate, that, despite recent and breathtaking advancements in science and medical technology, we find ourselves having to defend science, the only mechanism we have for gaining new information about the natural world. In the face of increasingly complex social, environmental, and medical problems, seeking solutions while ignoring the insights that science can provide is pure folly.

Ola Fincke, Professor, Dept. of Zoology, U. of Oklahoma

The effect of years of non-scientific government policies on HIV and AIDS are plain to see in South Africa. Medical Scientists should not hesitate to speak out at every opportunity against this type of influence on their work.

Antoine Van Gelder, Internal Medicine, University of Pretoria, South Africa

The definition of science is not open to debate. Science is not “a marketplace of ideas” in which consumer behavior dictates truth. Scientific findings may, at times, challenge the status quo, be unpopular, or even counter-intuitive. But, scientific findings are ALWAYS demonstrable, testable, and measurable.

Brian Bolea, Grand Valley State University, Michigan

As a professor of psychiatry and psychoanalysis I confront daily the damage to hope that lack of understanding causes. There are all too many medical and environmental agonies the cause and cure of which we don’t yet know, and we must bear the often overwheming emotional burden such ignorance imposes. Such are cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, global warming.

But there are many other medical and environmental agonies whose cause and cure — or at least prevention — we now DO know. To be deprived by anti-science zealots of this understanding — and the possibiity of averting these blights by appropriate action — is the grimmest tragedy. Such are AIDS, tuberculosis, rickets, unplanned pregnancies.

We must not succumb to efforts by ignorant zealots to return us to the pre-scientific dark ages, in which much human hopelessness was perpetuated for centuries longer than necessary, by the arrogant imposition of faith-based doctrines of anti-science.

Aside from the injury and death that they guarantee, they produce another and equally unnecessary blight: prolongation into our adult life of the sense of helplessness with which we are all born. Every baby is a scientist desperately struggling to become a strong and safe grownup by figuring out the truth. Whether he or she becomes a professional scientist or remains an amateur, we must preserve the freedom of everyone to observe, think, discuss, apply, and celebrate that scientific quest. For, next to love, the scientific quest is the most powerful protector of hope.

Roderic Gorney, Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA

This page was published on Thursday, October 2nd, 2008 and is filed under Civil Society, Politics, Science. Follow comments on this page through its RSS feed. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

One Comment on “Defending Science”

  1. Brian Glanz » Open Congratulations to Al Gore on December 17th, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    [...] comments on defending science were recently included in a collection of comments by signatories of the Defend Science Statement. Today, I thought right away to invite Vice President Gore to broaden his defense of climate [...]



Upcoming @ Pacific Science Center?

Joey Mornin, @joemornin on Twitter and a research assistant at the Berkman Center, had tweeted “I have seen the future, and it is a Carl Sagan/Stephen Hawking remix …” (11:24 AM Oct 2nd from TweetDeck). That I had to see, and when I saw it I had to tweet: “This Carl Sagan Stephen Hawking remix … should play on a wall @PacSci :) via @joeymornin” (11:35 AM Oct 2nd from Google Wave (Tweety)).

Pacific Science Center, @PacSci on Twitter, understands social media. As every person, business, or organization using social media ought to be, in a word they are: social. When I mention @PacSci, they watch for it and in this case their response was: “RT @brianglanz: This Carl Sagan Stephen Hawking remix … should play on a wall @PacSci :) via @joeymornin <GLORIOUS!>” (11:43 AM Oct 2nd from Seesmic). They responded quickly, giving credit to Joey Mornin and me, and added their own comment, <GLORIOUS!> — all in 140 characters. <yoda>Impressive!</yoda>

Will the “A Glorious Dawn” remix actually appear at the Pacific Science Center? Whether on a wall, at a kiosk, or on screen before IMAX films I do think this sort of “citizen media” should be displayed alongside “citizen science” in our educational and cultural institutions. This video accentuates and amplifies important parts of the messages Sagan, Hawking, and science at large have to share. In an incomplete circle, science has made possible the technology, has made possible the culture, has made possible great grassroots work like this media; science needs to close the circle and better connect with the community.

Quintin Doroquez, @quintind on Twitter chimed in, too by tweeting “@brianglanz That was brilliant!” (11:57 AM Oct 2nd from Tweetie) and I could not agree more. Thanks and congratulations to the creator of “A Glorious Dawn,” John Boswell, melodysheep on YouTube, whose video has a perfect 5 out of 5 stars after thousands of ratings and more than 600,000 views in its first two weeks.

还原真相:To Restore The Truth


Twenty years ago on June 4, 1989, thousands of pro-democracy protesters — most of them students — were killed by the Chinese government where they gathered peacefully, in Tiananmen Square.

Seattle’s Ken Judd en Montage

Update: you are seeing this message if MySpace took the video down, again; I have it coded to show if the video cannot. The audio is out of copyright due to its age, but regularly trips MySpace automatic filters. I have had it unbanned twice by people, only to be re-banned. Alas! It is a montage from my photos of the works of Seattle’s Ken Judd.

I may remaster the video — publish a higher resolution, remove the birthday reference, add a new opening and closing, etc. Generally, this is a test of displaying video on while it is hosted here by MySpace.

Remember 2009? Google Wave was 'it', good for everything from Pulitzer Prize winning journalism to Open Science Notebooks. 2009 was also the last time I updated this web site, to which you are more than welcome with that in mind.

Also 'it' in 2009, but where you can still find me: Twitter of course. I'm @brianglanz and for more about my work, see @openscience.

You can also circle me in Google+, and since that's a more thorough effort all around by the Big G, we have taken to it -- there you could also +1 and circle our Open Science Federation Page or join our new Open Science Community.