Biosphere hosts “Science in Politics” panel

March for Science Trip 2017 Photo credit: Biosphere Facebook page

March for Science Trip 2017
Photo credit: Biosphere Facebook page

By Aphra Murray, Staff Writer

On Wednesday, April 12, Biosphere hosted a “Science in Politics” panel.

This event was timed so as to coordinate with a wider political involvement of the public, the March for Science that is to take place April 22, 2017.

It is expected that roughly 80 students from Biosphere, Sceptical Chymists and other science-related extra-curricular clubs will be attending.

Given the avid participation of these 80 students, Biosphere felt it important to have an academic discussion surrounding some of the ideas behind the March for Science.

According to the official organizers of the march, the reasons for an event on this large of a scale is to protect the elements of science that are under attack from policy-making, budget-cuts and censorship. In combination, these could all have a devastating effecting on our health, food, air and climate.

While science is, and always should be, seen as a truth taken from observing and experimenting with the natural world, in recent years it has a faced controversy as it has entered the realm of politics.

This has meant that researchers have seen topics such as climate change lose funding and public credibility, as well as seeing voters become more interested in seeing elected officials discuss potential solutions to these problems.

Moderated by Natalie Pittman ’17, the panel included biology professor Dr. Alex Trillo, chemistry professor Dr. Koren Lipsett and Aphra Murray, a Chemistry major.

The panel largely focused on some of the issues that were brought up during the election, including growing concerns about the climate and ways forward with regards to politics in science.

Other questions focused on encouraging the panelists to talk about their experiences in protesting outside of science, prompting panelist Dr. Trillo to say “that [she] is excited that there is finally a march about science.”

Moderator Natalie Pittman said she “was happy with the event and would like to see to it on a more regular basis.”

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Author: Aphra Murray

Aphra Murray '18 is an international student and a Chemistry major here at Gettysburg. For the past year and a half, she has been consistently writing for the Gettysburgian and this year will be taking over as editor of the MS&T section. While not writing, Aphra can be found working on her research in the Science Centre.

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