Something pretty awesome happened a couple of weeks ago. Well, it started with something very bad, and led to awesome. And I never thought I’d see the day.
Donald Trump gagged scientists working for the government. I don’t mean he put a hold on any official statements from departments that did scientific research until he could get a handle on what was going on n those areas. I mean he gagged the individual scientists. That’s the bad part. Ordering scientists to without information, especially when it’s taxpayer funded data, is unprecedented in this country to my knowledge.
But a few intrepid people, spurred by their outrage at this order, went rogue. And I don’t mean these scientists are tweeting some little bit of defiance, they’re rebelling. Already, some scientists have dumped their data onto the internet and scientists around the world are looking to help American scientists save their research. In fact, scientists, both professional and citizen, are so outraged at this turn of events that there is a planned Science March on D.C. coming soon.
The best part of this debacle are our unlikely heroes, Park Rangers. I’m not kidding. These guys rose up and metaphorically spat in the White House’s eye over this. And a lot of other Departments, mostly dealing with science in government, have followed suit.
In my life, I’ve never seen something quite like this in the science communities. Granted, I’ve also never seen an Administration so dedicated to suppression of facts, science or otherwise.
Years into the future, I have no doubt, our grandchildren will learn of this uprising and it will seem as fantastical as the Revolutionary War does to us now. A bunch of inspired, angry people taking a stand against an egregious wrong done to the entire populace. It makes for a great tale.
It makes me wonder just how far this rebelling will stretch and in which directions. Will these scientists happily go back to their labs once this particular battle is won, or will they now keep in the spotlight to forever guarantee their, and our, right to information, taking their place among the other activists as another part of the army that fights for the good?
And what new legends will come of this example, what new stories will be added to our world lexicon in the coming years, based on these rogues? I know I’ll add at least one, and I hope more will.
Author of LGBT romance and speculative fiction.