Where We Stand on Science

By Roland Wall, Academy Senior Director for Environmental Initiatives

Most people don’t realize how much we depend on science or where it comes from. Drink a glass of water, swallow an aspirin, check the weather report—all of these mundane actions depend on a science infrastructure, not just for discovery and invention, but for making the system operate.

A large proportion of scientific research and its useful application are the result of government investment and management. Government agencies are key to how the research is used, and scientific communication keeps it all working together.

Academy scientists take measurements in a stream as part of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative to protect and restore water quality.

Now some of these operations are threatened by current policy directions in Washington. In response, some normally apolitical scientists are becoming more vocal, and some scientific institutions are actively entering the expanding public dialogue building on science and policy.

At the Academy, the study and communication of environmental and biodiversity science are central to our mission. We believe it is more important than ever to articulate and champion the established scientific consensus on critical issues that have driven our research and education programs for two centuries.

Those issues are climate change, evolution, water, and biodiversity and extinction. I encourage you to read our position statements on our website.

Frankly, these statements don’t reveal any new trend in our mission to advance research, education, and public engagement in biodiversity and environmental science. But we feel it is more important than ever to stand up for science and champion the established scientific consensus on issues that affect our everyday life.

For more information about Academy research, visit the research pages of our website. If you would like to support science research, please contact Monica Cawvey Gallagher, vice president of Institutional Advancement, at gallagher@ansp.org. Better yet, donate now by clicking the blue box above.

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