March for Science to celebrate strides made due to studies on health, Earth and space

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Today’s Pasadena is difficult to imagine without thinking about science, making it a natural setting for a satellite event to the national March for Science in Washington, DC, and the local one in downtown Los Angeles. Spearheaded by Caltech postdocs, the Pasadena event will be family-friendly fun on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22.

The Caltech Postdoc Association plans a rally, march and outreach day in order to celebrate science, advocate for transparency and the support of science, as well as celebrate ties between scientists and the community of Pasadena. The march begins at Caltech’s Beckman Lawn at 8 a.m. where, after opening remarks, participants will head toward Memorial Park (approximately1.6 miles). After closing comments marchers can visit science booths for information and participation.

Caltech will also have presence at the Los Angeles event with theoretical physicist Sean Carroll as one of the scheduled speakers. Carroll is also scheduled for a panel on science writing at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books later the same day.

“Science should be above partisan politics,” Carroll said. While he acknowledges that science depends upon politics for funding, he noted that “we don’t get to choose how the world works” and science provides “better ways to prevent ourselves from fooling each other.” Humans are not rational animals, he said. “We all have our biases.”

Seniors should be especially concerned. As Carroll noted, “Health care is driven by the health of science,” he said. “In the last few years we’ve made great strides in research” providing “wonderful prospects for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and cancer.”

Scheduled speakers at the Pasadena event include Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek, Assembly member Chris Holden, as well as Caltech professors Jonas Peters (Bren Professor of Chemistry) and Mary Kennedy (Allen and Lenabell Davis Professor of Biology).

“In order to make smart policy decisions, we need to listen to the scientific community now more than ever,” said Holden. “The Legislature is committed to furthering California’s environmental leadership role and will continue to pass policies based on scientific research that invest in renewable energy and lift our dependence on fossil fuels.”

As excerpted from Pasadena Weekly