The 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