A version of this article was originally posted on 4/3/17 for the MassBio Blog
The science is in, and there’s no question that we’re long overdue to take action on behalf of the planet. As a community of scientists who work hard at the lab bench and relax on a park bench, it’s important that we all do our part this Earth Day.
From startup incubators to global industry leaders, sustainability in the lab sciences has been embraced on many levels. CST has established composting programs in our cafeterias and has taken steps to limit hazardous chemicals in labs. Our facilities department has worked together with EHS to ensure energy efficiency in lab spaces while also maintaining safety standards. We are thinking more carefully about our carbon footprint and taking strides to adopt alternative energy.
While some of these projects take a fair amount of planning and collaboration, taking action on Earth Day is quite simple. You can pick up trash on your property, plant a tree, bike to work, or enjoy a meatless meal. But this year, we have a chance to do a little more. Not only does Earth Day fall on a Saturday, it also marks one of the largest public events scheduled for Earth Day* since its inception in 1970.
This year Earth Day is making history as the “March for Science,” an international call to action for scientists, students, and science enthusiasts to get “out of the labs and into the streets.” Are you concerned about global warming? Worried about the shrinking budgets of the NIH? Or do you just want to don a tie-dyed lab coat with a cardboard sign that says “The Science Party!” The messaging is up to you. The key element is to seize the opportunity and rally the scientific community to create public discourse centered on scientific integrity.
The movement is growing. In the U.S. we’ve seen K-12 students sharing messages about science and standing up for their teachers. Rush Holt, the CEO of the American Association of the Advancement of Science, published a call to action through his politically-charged op-ed “Act for Science” in the February edition of Science. In fact, the call to action about participating in the March for Science at Cell Signaling Technology first came from our lab scientists. CST plans on organizing a company contingent to join the march in Boston, and we are hosting an “Earth Week” from the 17th-21st to support local science and environmental non-profits.
In addition to the main march in D.C., there are satellite, “Sister” marches taking place all over the world.
Here’s the official Call to Action from the Science March:
“We are scientists and science enthusiasts. We come from all races, all religions, all gender identities, all sexual orientations, all abilities, all socioeconomic backgrounds, all political perspectives, and all nationalities. Our diversity is our greatest strength: a wealth of opinions, perspectives, and ideas is critical for the scientific process. What unites us is a love of science, and an insatiable curiosity. We all recognize that science is everywhere and affects everyone.”
Does your company want to plan an activity for Earth Day?
Are your colleagues fired up about the #ScienceMarch ?
Hope to see you out on Earth Day April 22nd!
* It’s worth noting that on Earth Day last year the Obama White House signed onto a joint climate agreement with China where they endorsed the COP 21 Paris Climate Accords.