Wednesday, April 26, 2017

U.S. Surgeon General refused to resign, so he was 'relieved' from the post

Dr. Vivek Murthy

INDIAN/AMERICAN physicians were "shocked and saddened" by the departure of Dr. Vivek Murthy as the U.S. Surgeon General.

Last Friday (April 21), the Trump administration asked Murthy to resign even though he had a year and-a-half to go on his 4-year term. When he refused, he was "relieved" from his post that he held since 2014.

"Many have asked why I chose not to resign as Surgeon General when I was asked to do so," said Murthy on his Facebook page. "My reason was simple: because I would never willfully abandon my commitment to my Commissioned Corps officers, to the American people, and to all who have stood with me to build a healthier and more compassionate America."

The American Association of Physicians of Indian-origin were caught by surprise, but issued a statement. "On behalf of the AAPI, I want to applaud the many contributions and initiatives of Dr Vivek Murthy, our AAPI member, in the healthcare sector in very short span of about two years since he became U.S. Surgeon General in 2014," said AAPI president Ajay Lodha.

Murthy also served as co-chair with former Education Secretary John King of the White House Initiative on Asian American Pacific Islanders was housed in the Department of Education.

When Donald Trump took office, unlike other appointees of President Obama, Murthy chose to assist in the transition and to continue his work as Surgeon General.

“Although it’s not unprecedented, it’s highly unusual for a surgeon general’s four-year term to be cut short,” explained Daniel Politi at Slate. “What is known is that the gun lobby was no fan of Murthy, who has for years insisted that gun violence should be classified as a public health threat.”

Back in 2014, when former President Barack Obama nominated him to be the next surgeon general, the National Rifle Association wrote a strongly-worded letter opposing Murthy’s confirmation. Murthy had argued that the gun control debate was a public health issue and he pushed for more common-sense gun control regulation. 

Back in 2014, when former President Barack Obama nominated him to be the next surgeon general, the National Rifle Association wrote a strongly-worded letter opposing Murthy’s confirmation. Murthy had argued that the gun control debate was a public health issue and he pushed for more common-sense gun control regulation. 

He came to the post of “America’s Doctor” following a narrow 51-43 vote of confirmation from a Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate.

"While that decision to stand on principle resulted in my termination prior to the end of my four-year term, I know that the Office of the Surgeon General is greater than any one person and its mission must continue," Murthy said. "The new Acting Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, is the right person to step into this role. She has dedicated the past 30 years to our nation serving in the Army and in the U.S. Public Health Service. Her deep wealth of experience is matched only by the immense size of her heart. I know she will serve with distinction."

He will continue to serve in the USPHS Commissioned Corps in another capacity.

In another Facebook post, he said, "For the grandson of a poor farmer from India to be asked by the president to look out for the health of an entire nation was a humbling and uniquely American story," he wrote. "While I had hoped to do more to help our nation tackle its biggest health challenges, I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to have served."

Federal judge bars Trump reprisals against sanctuary governments

Asian Americans protest against Donald Trump's immigration policies.

IN A SEVERE SETBACK to the Trump administration, a federal judge in California said any attempt to cut off federal funding to sanctuary cities is "clearly unconstitutional."
U.S. District William H. Orrick on Tuesday barred the Trump administration from enforcing part of Donald Trump's January executive order that withheld funds from sanctuary cities — concluding that that action would be "clearly unconstitutional."

The ruling prevents Trump from withholding funds from jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with federal agencies to deport undocumented immigrants,
Orrick issued a nationwide preliminary injunction — sought by San Francisco and Santa Clara counties in California — against enforcement of Section 9(a) of the January 25, 2017, executive order.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee
"San Francisco is and will remain a Sanctuary City. We know that Sanctuary Cities are safer, healthier, more productive places to live," said San Franciscco Mayor Ed Lee in a press release. "San Francisco’s Sanctuary City laws are in compliance with federal law. If the federal government believes there is a need to detain a serious criminal they can obtain a criminal warrant, which we will honor, as we always have."The court order comes days after Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned cities, counties and states theater refusing to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement would lose millions of dollars in federal grants.
Orrick's order renders toothless the threat against those local governments - such as San Francisco and Santa Clara counties - that "refuse to comply."

Last Friday, the DOJ sent letters to those sanctuary jurisdictions across the nation from New York City to Los Angeles. 

“Failure to comply with this condition could result in the withholding of grant funds, suspension or termination of the grant, ineligibility for future [Office of Justice Programs] grants or subgrants, or other action, as appropriate,” according to the letter, signed by Alan Hanson, acting assistant attorney general for the Office of Justice Programs.

According to the press release, the jurisdictions have a deadline of June 30, 2017, to “provide documentation and an opinion from legal counsel” confirming their compliance.

Orrick's decision states the executive order goes beyond the president's authority under the 10th Amendment, which limits the federal government's authority over local governments. "The Executive Order uses coercive means in an attempt to force states and local jurisdictions to honor civil detainer requests, which are voluntary 'requests' precisely because the federal government cannot command states to comply with them under the Tenth Amendment," it reads.

The judge took into account the statements of Trump and Sessions in speeches and interviews that warned cities that they would lose public safety funds if they did not comply with federal immigration agents' attempts to locate and detain undocumented immigrants. "If there was doubt about the scope of the Order, the President and Attorney General have erased it with their public comments," Orrick wrote.

Orrick's ruling states the EO goes beyond the president's authority under the 10th Amendment, which places restrictions on how much authority the federal government could have over local jurisdictions. "The Executive Order uses coercive means in an attempt to force states and local jurisdictions to honor civil detainer requests, which are voluntary 'requests' precisely because the federal government cannot command states to comply with them under the Tenth Amendment," it reads.
Orrick's decision follows on other injunctions issued by federal judges in Washington, California, and Hawaii that have called into question the constitutionality of the president's other executive order pertaining to those traveling or immigrating from seven Muslim-majority countries. Last month, Federal Judge Derrick Watson of Hawaii further blocked the president's revised version of the same order.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Filming of 'Crazy Rich Asians' starts; Awkwafina, Ronnie Cheng added to cast

FILMING of Crazy Rich Asians begins today (April 25) on location in Malaysia and Singapore.

"Three years ago I sat across a table from (Executive producer) Nina Jacobson in L.A. and told her that my dream was to make Crazy Rich Asians a showcase for the amazingly talented actors of Asian descent from all over the world. Nina promised to make my dream come true, and she kept her promise," said author Kevin Kwan on his Instagram page.

The production under the helm of veteran director Jon M. Chu, made more announcements of its all-Asian cast in the romantic comedy based on Kwan's best-selling novel, the first book of a trilogy.

Perhaps most familiar with American audiences is Awkwafina, an Asian/American comedian/actress, who has been cast as Peik Lin, Rachel's college friend,

Awkwafina's career got a major boost in the last two years when she was cast in the nabbing in Neighbors 2 and the upcoming female Ocean's Eleven spinoff, Ocean's Eight, with major box-office stars Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock. 

Ronnie Cheng on The Daily Show.

Another comedian, Ronnie Cheng, best known for his hilarious reports, many with an Asian perspective, on Comedy Central's The Daily Show hosted by Trevor Noah. The role played by the Asian/Australian is unspecified in the reports coming out of the Warner Bros. production.

Chris Pang
Chris Pang (Marco Polo and Destiny) nabbed to role of Colin Khoo, Nick's best friend and whose nuptials with Aramita Lee, played by previously cast Sonoya Mizuno (La La Land)spur the visit to Singapore. 

Also named in unspecified supporting roles are Jing Lusi (Stan Lee’s Lucky Man), as well as a number of Singaporean actors, including Pierre Png, Fiona Xie and Tan Kheng Hua round out the supporting caIt st, according to the Hollywood Reporter, which broke the casting news yesterday (April 24).

The film stars Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat); Henry Golding, making his feature film debut; Gemma Chan (Humans); and Michelle Yeoh (upcoming Star Trek: Discovery,  and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).

The story follows all-American Rachel Chu (Wu) as she accompanies her longtime boyfriend, Nick Young (Golding), to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. Visiting Asia for the first time and preparing to meet Nick's family, Rachel is unprepared to learn that Nick is not only the scion of one of the country’s wealthiest families but also one of its most sought-after bachelors. Being Nick’s girlfriend puts a target on Rachel’s back, with jealous socialites and, worse, Nick’s own disapproving mother (Yeoh) taking aim. 

It appears the heat and humidity of Kuala Lumpur is taking its toll on Wu based on her Instagram post:

The second book of the trilogy, China Rich Girlfriend, which takes the plot to Hong Kong and Shanghai, has been out for two years. The final book, Rich Peoples' Problems, will be released next month.

In an interview with Entertainment, Kwan teases what we might find in Rich People Problems:

"I always knew the story of Crazy Rich Asians would unfold as a trilogy, and in many ways this final book was actually the first story that I had mapped out. Rich People Problems continues the story of Nick, Rachel, and Astrid. It’s 2015 now, and all three of them are being confronted with profound changes that will affect the rest of their lives. Not to give away too much, but there will also be a whole new crowd of characters, unbelievably fabulous locations, and heart-stopping drama. Things come full circle, and the long-buried secrets of these privileged families may just come back to haunt them."

UPDATED: Earlier versions did not name the role played by Chris Pang.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Sikh American had a unique way to fight hate

Angad Singh in New York City's Times Square.
IN THIS Trump-inspired era of hate, haters gonna hate. But what's the rest of us going to do?

One man, Angad Singh, took to the public square - Times Square to be clear - to educate others because of the killing of Timothy Caughman, an African/American. The murder suspect was a white man, charged with committing an act of terrorism in Caughman’s fatal stabbing.

"The only way we can tackle hate is by actively challenging the ignorance that surrounds us," said Singh.

"But I'm not scared to do so because for me, putting my turban on is the most American thing I can do."

On March 20, Caughman was stabbed to death with a sword by a 28-year-old white U.S. Army veteran James Jackson. Jackson was charged with second degree murder as a hate crime but the charges were later upgraded to an act of terrorism. He told police that he considered the killing to be "practice prior to going to Times Square to kill additional black men," according to the complaint.

Singh posted a video of him putting on his turban, a simple, but significant, action. The video went viral when it was posted about a month ago, but I thought I'd share.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Marching For Science is countering "alternate facts"

SCIENTISTS argued among themselves whether or not to allow the March for Science be more political. It's not surprising that they would have that debate - it is part of their nature to stay above the partisan fray - but the argument to be apolitical loses its case when you consider it was politics in the first place that inspired the march.
Reluctant they may be, but scientists and their supporters came out by the 10s of thousands throughout the world, spurred by a U.S. administration that seems at odds with the work of scientists by denying their findings.

"We are at a dangerous moment in our nation's history when science and scientists are under attack, when the very words 'climate change' are being censored," artist and environmentalist Maya Lin told the crowd who attended the march in Washington D.C.

"To me, this march is important because it serves as a forum to address the many ways in which restrictions imposed on scientific research affect our lives" wrote Dhruv Arora on ScrollIn. Arora, who came to the U.S. from India, now lives in North Carolina where he helped organized the March For Science in that state. 

RELATED: Why scientists are marching
"The march should not be about scientists stepping down from the ivory tower just long enough to defend it. As important as legislation and policy are, I would first like to see the creation of a space where the scientific community can be held accountable. As a queer, person of colour, immigrant, worker, it is important to me that the very real issue of a lack of visibility and representation in science gets addressed, that scientists’ rights are seen as workers’ rights. When science is stifled, it is always the most underprivileged who suffer.

"The scientific community wishes to be part of the resistance, but where have we been all this while? What can we learn from those who have already been on the ground? How can we demonstrate solidarity? What do we have to offer? What is required of us, but also, how can we be of service above and beyond?"

Molly Jung, 29, a doctoral candidate at Johns Hopkins, agreed: “It’s time for scientists to get out of the ivory towers and get the message out.”

The most common sign at all the marches was, "Science, Not Silence."
Some of the marchers were able to combine two issues in one, the assault on science and the attacks against refugees and immigrants.

Thanks to Aysha S. Raza who was part of the London march. For you sci-fi fans of the BBC's Dr. Who ...

A word of encouragement from George Takei, AKA Star Trek's Mr. Sulu ...

Comedian Kumail Nanjani sums it all up ...

Supporters of science demonstrated at almost 600 cities or campuses, on all seven continents, including Antartica  where researchers had this message: “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more so that we may fear less.”

... and the North Pole ...
and all the places inbetween. From Tokyo ...
... To Washington D.C., where rain may have dampened the turnout but not their spirit. 
“I’ve never thought I had to march, but things are so severe I had to be here,” May Ann Ti, an former engineer from Sterling, Virginia, said. “So severe, even the nerds are here,” her sign read.

Brenda Clough, a science fiction author, has the last word. She says she marches for science because without real science, there would be nothing for the imagination to use to write fiction.

Donald Trump's motorcade passed by the marchers as he went to another event. He issued a statement later that morning but didn't mention the march.

"My administration is committed to advancing scientific research that leads to a better understanding of our environment and of environmental risks," Trump said. "As we do so, we should remember that rigorous science depends not on ideology, but on a spirit of honest inquiry and robust debate.

"This April 22nd, as we observe Earth Day, I hope that our nation can come together to give thanks for the land we all love and call home," Trump added. 
(UPDATED: 4/23 to include Trump's statement.)


Indian workers impacted by Trump's new executive order on H-1B visas


DONALD TRUMP'S executive order cracking down on the use of H-1B visas could greatly affect Indian workers.

According to The Indian Panorama, about 70 percent of the 85,000 H-1B visas handed out each year go to people from India. H1B visas are used to hire foreign employees for highly skilled jobs which could not be filled otherwise.

Trump said the H-1B system should never be used to replace American workers and the visa must be given to the most skilled and highest paid applicants, reported PBS.

“We are going to defend our workers, protect our jobs and finally put America first,” Trump said standing before an American flag.

The Trump administration also said they would enforce ‘Hire American’ rules that are designed to protect jobs and wages of workers in the United States.

According to the executive order, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Homeland Security will suggest reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.

The pool of qualified Indian IT professionals also contributed to the global success of American companies.

But since the November elections, more Indian workers in the U.S. are now seeking jobs in India as Trump signed the order.

The number of Indians in the U.S. searching for jobs in India has increased more than 10-fold between December and March, according to an analysis by consulting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Pvt Ltd, shared exclusively with LiveMint.

Approximately 600 Indians in the U.S. were seeking jobs in India in December 2016. The number had gone up to approximately 7,000 by the end of March 2017, Deloitte analysis said.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Congress' minority caucuses unite to save treasured monuments

President Barack Obama used the Antiquities Act to create the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument off of Hawaii.which spans 582,578 square miles

FEARING THAT Donald Trump will seek to undo the work of previous presidents in preserving national monuments, members of Congress' minority caucuses gave a heads up to their leaders in the House and Senate.

The Congressional Tri-Caucus – which is composed of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) – sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to oppose any efforts that would restrict the President’s authority under the Antiquities Act and that would eliminate or reduce the boundaries of any existing national monument.

Released on April 18, the International Day for Monuments and Sites, the letter urges the leaders to defend the Antiquities Act, a law enacted by Congress in 1906 that has preserved world-renown places like the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon. 

Used by the majority of Presidents since its enactment – eight Republicans and eight Democrats – the Antiquities Act is a time-tested, bipartisan tool that has helped tell our nation’s diverse story of struggles, hopes, and opportunities.

As the Tri-Caucus Chairs write: “A nation dedicated to the proposition that all of us are created equal must preserve and celebrate the full diversity of its rich culture and history. Any attempt to curtail the President’s authority to protect these places or to remove protections already put in place by other Presidents is an attack on our shared history. We urge you to stand against any proposal that would diminish existing national monuments or hamper the President’s ability to protect places that honor the contributions of all Americans.”

President Obama was criticized by Republicans for his use of the Antiquities Act to preserve places that are precious, irreplaceable resources for the American people.

Opposed by loggers, real estate developers and the big-business fishing industry, Republicans called Obama's actions to preserve these monuments "land grabs."

That Congress has utterly failed to do the right thing on behalf of communities, including the Asian/American and Hawaiian/American communities, clamoring for these places to be preserved is certainly not the president’s fault, nor is Obama’s subsequent intervention a sign that the Antiquities Act has spiraled out of control.

The letter is aligned with public opinion. In fact, a recent bi-partisan poll from The Colorado College State of the Rockies Project found that 80 percent of respondents supported keeping national monument designations. 

Sessions insults the entire state of Hawaii

HERE'S NEWS for Attorney General Jeff Sessions: Hawaii has been a state of the United States of America for the past 58 years; and Donald Trump is not a king

According to The Washington Post, in an interview on “The Mark Levin Show,” a conservative talk show, earlier this week, Sessions said, “I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power.” 

As an Asian/American, here's how I interpreted Session's words: How can a brown-skinned judge in the barely civilized, foreign island of Hawaii populated by "others," stop the decree issued by the most powerful ruler on the planet?

Talk about throwing shade against an entire state! AG Sessions marveled at the ability of a judge on an island in the Pacific could stop the Executive Order of King ... er ... Mr. Donald Trump that sought to ban Muslims traveling to the U.S.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, who was born and raised in Hawaii, issued an order staying Trump's second Muslim ban from being implemented. Sessions implication drew the ire of the state's two U.S. Senators.

Other members of Congress joined in:

In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, Hirono, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee that vets and confirms federal judges, tweeted out a picture of the unanimous roll call vote confirming Watson. She called Sessions’ suggestion that Watson is somehow unable to carry out his duties impartially “dangerous, ignorant, and prejudiced.”

“I am frankly dumbfounded that our nation’s top lawyer would attack our independent judiciary,” she said. “But we shouldn’t be surprised. This is just the latest in the Trump Administration’s attacks against the very tenets of our Constitution and democracy.”

Sessions should know that the judiciary is a branch of the government that is CO-EQUAL to the executive and legislative branches. 

"Our Constitution created a separation of powers in the United States for a reason," said Hawaii's Attorney General Doug Chin. "Our federal courts, established under article III of the Constitution, are co-equal partners with Congress and the President. It is disappointing AG Sessions does not acknowledge that.”


TGIF FEATURE:'Time' magazine names two Asian/American women among 100 most influential people

Constance Wu
AMONG TIME magazines' 100 Most Influential People in the world were two Asian/American women: an actor and a scientist.

Actress Constance Wu doesn't fit your Asian female stereotype. She is outspoken, honest and sometimes brutally frank.

As one of the few Asian/Americans on television, she is best known for her role on ABC's Fresh Off the Boat, but it is what she does and says off the stage that she is gaining attention.

Lena Dunham, who traveled with Wu during Hillary Clinton's campaign, got to know the actress. "She is tasked with being more than just an actor," writes Dunham, star and writer of Girls. "And she takes this second gig just as seriously."

Wu is not afraid to speak her heart, whether it be against violence against women, presidential politics or women's rights. But it her outspokeness against the lack of roles for Asian/Americans and they way they are depicted in the media that her voice speaks out loudly. She's not afraid to call out the studios or certain actors by name even though she has been warned that it might hurt her career.

"F- my career then, I'm a woman & human first. That's what my craft is built on," says Wu.

Natalie Batalha
That attitude doesn't appear to have affected her career. She was picked for the lead role in the movie adaptation of the best-selling novel Crazy Rich Asians, which will expose her to millions of new fans around the world.

Also on Time's list was Natalie Batalha, an astrophysicist at NASA Ames Research Center. She is the current lead scientist for NASA’s Kepler space telescope. "Human beings have long wondered whether they are alone in the universe. Now we are closer than ever to getting an answer," reads Time. Batalha was one of three astronomers named by Time. She has helped find approximately 4,700 new worlds since 2009.

The two shared Time's distinction with such luminaries such as Pope Francis, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un and Melinda Gates.

Other Asians from other countries were also included, including Philippine President Rolando Duterte of the Philippines, actor Rez Ahmed of Great Britain and dictator Kim Jong Un of North Korea. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

March for Science: Earth Day will be different this year

If a rally for science held in Boston in Feb. is an example, we can expect a plethora of creative of the signs during the March for Science next Saturday.

ON THE FIRST DAY of Donald Trump's presidency, the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Science and Technology Policy's website no longer lists “science” in the paragraph describing what it does.

With all the ballyhoo about the numbers who attended the inauguration and the historic Women's March the next day, it ALMOST went unnoticed.

Scientists and environmentalists saw it. In fact, it set off alarm bells. That's what inspired the organizing of the March For Science.

Earth Day, this Saturday (April 22) has taken a new - more urgent - meaning this year beyond cleaning up beaches and parks. Science-friendly individuals will gather on the National Mall, and in hundreds of satellite marches across the U.S. and around the globe. The Earth Day Network — the nonprofit that organizes Earth Day events every year — has taken the lead on programming for the march.
Amado Guloy, organizing the San Francisco Bay Area's
March for Science, gave a TED talk.
"On some level, [science] is already politicized with certain acts done by Congress, like increased oversight over what kinds of science we should be able to practice and pursue [using federal funds]," said Amado Guloy, a materials and inorganic chemist based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Guloy, a Filipino/American is spending all his spare time organizing the March for Science in San Francisco. His tech startup Rex uses technology to help veterinarians keep digital records as they provide clinical care at farms.
The March for Science will celebrate the scientific method and advocate for evidence-based decision-making in all levels of government. Though the event’s website doesn’t explicitly mention Trump, it’s a protest of his administration’s policies, including his proposal to cut billions in funding for scientific research.

The March for Science shouldn't be confused with the People's Climate March, which will be held the following weekend and whose emphasis will be on ... well, climate change. 


Organizers have tried to steer away from the appearance of being anti-Trump. Its website cites: "Anti-science agendas and policies have been advanced by politicians on both sides of the aisle, and they harm everyone — without exception."

"What we’re trying to do (with the March for Science ) is say, OK, the narrative of science has been politicized and nitpicked. Let’s go back to ..., ‘This is what the scientific method is and this is why it should not be nitpicked,’ so if you are going to make a narrative with data, it’s done in a scientific manner,'" said Guloy in an interview in The Scientist Magazine.

At any rate, like it or not, science has already been politicized. The Trump administration and the Republican majority in Congress are defunding research, politicizing grant making  diminishing science’s role in the agency rule making process, and flat out refusing to accept conclusions they don’t like.

Since Donald Trump became president, numerous climate change deniers have been confirmed to lead key scientific cabinets. What's more, the administration has cracked down on federal agencies' use of social media and access to reporters, demanded that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) submit research for political vetting before publishing, and deleted or hidden what were once public records from government websites.
RELATED: Every anti-science thing Trump has done in his administration's first 100 days
These efforts to discredit science have sparked a growing and historic resistance movement, from rogue Twitter accounts to scientists racing to archive climate change and other threatened data from government servers.

Trump's administration is planning a 17 percent cut to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the agency tasked with monitoring oceans, preparing for potentially dangerous storms and assessing the dangers of climate change, according to a leaked memo obtained by the Washington Post.

Of all the government agencies set for cuts, the EPA would be the most severely gashed. If Congress were to enact Trump's budget proposal for the fiscal year 2017-2018, the EPA would lose $2.6 billion out of its current $8.1 billion in funding — a 32.1 percent slash to the agency that would pay for 5 percent of the boost to the Department of Defense.

Trump has yet to name a top White House science adviser, and it’s unclear if he ever will. A man who doesn't believe in climate change, Scott Pruitt, has been named head of the EPA, an agency that he's sued nine times as the former Attorney General of Oklahoma.

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, a theoretical physicist at the University of Washington, told the Washington Post that science has always been influenced by politics.
She cited the example of Albert Einstein, who, in addition to illuminating the fundamental laws of physics, advocated for civil rights, socialism, and nuclear arms control. His politics made him a target of the FBI, which tracked his phone calls and went through his trash until his death in 1955.

“Those are the same scientists we are taught to look up to as science students,” she said of Einstein and other physicists who advocated for arms control. “They very much understood that physics had a role to play in the unfolding of highly polarized political events.”
The fact that she is only the 63rd African/American woman in American history to get a PhD in physics — a degree that has been awarded to tens of thousands of researchers. That's no accident, she said.

Her statement brings up one of the key issues that developed during the planning of this march was the issue of diversity. It got so muddled the organizers issued four different statements that still didn't satisfy everyone. The lack of women and people of color in the research labs is something that needs to be discussed further. 

"We cannot ignore issues of racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, xenophobia, or any other form of discrimination in the discussion and implementation of science," says the website. "Nor can we ignore the ways in which science has been misused to harm marginalized communities. The lack of inclusivity and diversity in STEM thwarts scientific advancements not only by limiting who conducts the research, but also by influencing what topics are studied, who participates in the research, and who will benefit from or be harmed by it."

The march is open to everyone who believes in facts, the value of research. scientific vetting and the value of facts ... and against the policies that seek to belittle those tenets.

Guloy, the San Francisco scientist and entrepreneur, said that he hopes the march is not a one-and-done event. The issues raised by the march will continue to be worked on in the months and years ahead.

Theorems are basic to science but there comes a time when practical matters can supersede theory. The days when scientists and researchers stay hunkered down in their labs separate from the rest of society are over. Politics has punctured that wall. From the vaccines that protect billions of lives to the ubiquitous smart phone, there can be no doubt that society has benefited from science. But science, too, can benefit from joining the public square with the rest of us. That's why scientists need to march. That's why we need to join them. 

FOOTNOTE: During a Rally for Science held in Boston last Feb. participants made some creatively appropriate signs, some of which are shown below.. Organizers are encouraging participants to do the same in the March for Science.