Cornell faculty experts join March for Science April 22

Cornell faculty members will join thousands of their counterparts April 22 as they sound a call for supporting scientific research and evidence-based policies during an historic March for Science in Washington, D.C. The following Cornell experts are attending the march and are available for comment:

Sarah Davidson Evanega: Science is the great giver
Evanega is the director of the Cornell Alliance for Science and senior associate director of international programs at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Evanega says:
“Science is the great giver. Without it we would have no cure for polio, no microchips, no cellular phones, no artificial hearts, no rockets to outer space. In its greatest and most intended moment, science is agnostic. It is driven by methods, not by partisan politics.”

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William J. Brown: Funding cuts make the U.S. less competitive on the global stage
Brown is a professor and chair of the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics.

Brown says:
“I am excited to attend the March because it is for something…science! The recently proposed cuts to the NIH, NSF and EPA budgets will move our country backwards and make the U.S. less competitive on the global stage. Science trumps politics!”

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Christine A. Leuenberger: International scientists increasingly hesitant to collaborate with U.S. counterparts
Leuenberger is a senior lecturer in science and technology studies.

Leuenberger says:
“Given the new administration’s priorities, international scientists are increasingly hesitant to collaborate with U.S. scientists, with some even boycotting U.S. conferences in response to the travel ban. America’s open, innovative and globalized science enterprise has attracted the best scientists, engineers and innovators for years. For example, Silicon Valley is one such model of international science, with 44 percent of its innovators having an international background. Yet it is just such international experts who are now being harassed and threatened on city streets across the country.”

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Rebecca Nelson: Defunding the NIH will set back biomedical research
Nelson is a professor of plant pathology.

Nelson says:
“The hostile leadership and defunding of the EPA will cripple regulatory protections for the environment, pleasing powerful interests at the expense the planet and its inhabitants. Defunding the NIH will set back biomedical research, making us depend on others for therapies and insights. Defunding international aid will kill more people than terrorists ever will. The president does not himself use a computer, and he seems intent on killing the USA’s capacity for innovation.”

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Patrick M. Reed: Science innovations are fundamental to our economy and well-being
Reed is a professor of civil and environmental engineering and faculty fellow at the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.

Reed says:
“Science innovations are fundamental to maintaining our economy and well-being. My work in the U.S. and globally clearly highlights that our water supplies, agricultural systems and energy systems are facing growing and potentially unprecedented pressures from climate change and population growth. We need to continue to empower the next generation of scientists to make the discoveries necessary for human society to sustainably thrive despite the growing threats to our collective future.”

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Chris B. Schaffer:  Insufficient federal support for scientific research hampers gains
Schaffer is an associate professor of biomedical engineering.

Schaffer says:
“I am participating in the March for Science because I am concerned that current levels of federal support for scientific research are hampering the ability of scientists to produce the knowledge gains and technological developments necessary for us to achieve a sustainable relationship between our society and our climate and environment, to develop effective treatments for disease, and to drive continued economic growth.

“I am also concerned that some policy decisions at federal and state levels are not adequately informed by our scientific understanding and that this will lead to policies that cause harm to our society.”

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Sabrina Solouki: The scientific enterprise forms the fulcrum of our economy
Solouki is a Ph.D. student studying immunology and infectious disease.

Solouki says:
“The scientific enterprise forms the fulcrum of our economy, our health system, and our society.

“As a Ph.D. graduate student in the field of immunology and infectious disease one key policy that relates to my field of expertise is the current administration’s desire to create a Vaccine Safety Commission to investigate the feared link between vaccines and autism. Unfortunately, although this theory has long since been debunked, much debate still exists regarding the basic question of vaccine safety. Since their creation over 200 years ago, vaccines have saved millions of lives and have proven to be safe and effective. Therefore, I am participating in the March for Science because I am concerned that policy decisions, such as this one, are not appropriately informed by science and can inevitably lead to policies that are detrimental to our society.”

 

Cornell University has television, ISDN and dedicated Skype/Google+ Hangout studios available for media interviews.

 

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