March for Science participant: Everything is dependent on science

Nearly 200 participants showed up Saturday for the Southern Utah March for Science, Cedar City, Utah, April 22, 2017 | Photo by Jean Bjerke, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY – Nearly 200 residents of Iron County showed up Saturday to participate in the International March for Science in Cedar City.

Families, senior citizens, students and the like showed up Saturday for the Southern Utah March for Science, Cedar City, Utah, April 22, 2017 | Photo by Jean Bjerke, St. George News / Cedar City News

A worldwide event, the March for Science was held in more than 600 cities across the world as thousands participated in an effort to bring awareness to the importance of science in society.

The march in Cedar City was co-sponsored by the Women’s March in Washington, Cedar City group and the Southern Utah University Earth Club. It was one of six marches happening in multiple Utah cities, including St. George.

“There were families, children in strollers, children riding on their fathers’ shoulders, young, old and students all came out to participate,” Jean Bjerke, a member of the WMW Cedar City group, said.

Bjerke said group members had hoped for 200 people to show for the march but were pleasantly surprised when they did.

Starting at the Main Street Park near the Cedar City Library, the group marched with signs and banners in tow around to Center Street walking straight to the Southern Utah University campus where they ended in front of the Gerald R. Sherratt Library.

Families, senior citizens, students and the like carried signs Saturday for the Southern Utah March for Science, Cedar City, Utah, April 22, 2017 | Photo by Jean Bjerke, St. George News / Cedar City News

“The group’s mood was positive, upbeat and enthusiastic,” Bjerke said.

Those participating in the march hoped to send a message to Washington that they want policymakers to make decisions based on facts and science. Those who attended in Cedar City felt the number of supporters who came out across the country Saturday were by themselves enough to get that message across loud and clear.

At one point participants were invited to stand in a circle and share what science meant to them.

For many there, science is a part of their careers and everyday life as employees of the Bureau of Land Management and Fish and Wildlife, both federal agencies tasked with the responsibility of taking care of the earth and wildlife.

For Bjerke, like others at the march, science is the “foundation of a civilized society.”

Children had fun learning about science and dressing up like scientists Saturday at the Southern Utah March for Science, Cedar City, Utah, April 22, 2017 | Photo by Jean Bjerke, St. George News / Cedar City News

“Everything is dependent on science,” she said. “Our medicines, our water, the quality of life we live and the technology we use daily is all due to science.”

Many of the children and SUU students also shared their thoughts, saying they want to “grow up and be a scientist like” their mom, dad or grandparents – loved ones they felt represented the definition of science.

At the conclusion of the march, participants heard brief remarks by some of the local march leaders. Carrie Trenholm, Briget Eastep and Emily Dean. Alejandro Lucero, the president of the SUU Earth Club, also shared a few words with the group.

SUU students also participated in the march and were there on site at the campus to offer various science activities for the kids to enjoy. Some of these included a “dress up as your favorite scientist” contest, an archeology excavation, kite flying, bubbles, painting and anthropology demonstrations.

Members of the SUU Animal Ambassadors Club also brought a variety of exotic reptiles the children had an opportunity to pet.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Email: tsullivan@stgnews.com

Twitter: @tracie_sullivan

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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33 Comments

  • John April 23, 2017 at 7:57 am

    Reading this article you would never guess that our own St. George had it’s own March for Science with over 100 participants.

  • Not_So_Much April 23, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Science can be good, but GOD is great.

    • comments April 23, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      Oh, you’re a religious nutter. This explains a lot.

      • ladybugavenger April 23, 2017 at 4:43 pm

        Is that what you’re going to be sayin’ when Jesus comes back?

        BOB, Bob, bob…God is not a religion. Jesus is not a religion. religion is religion, God is not a religion.

        One day you’ll know the difference. Have a great day Bob! ? (fist bump)

        • comments April 24, 2017 at 4:21 pm

          You know, Jesus may or may not be around, I just aint seen proof to the positive. I d’ont consider myself an atheist, but I aint a xtian either. Don’t think it’s possible to be a xtian and not be a hypocrit in one way or another, because what Christ taught is actually the polar opposite of human nature–guess that’s why xtians are always begging Jesus for forgiveness (what do they say, better to ask for forgiveness than permission?). I’m actually a fully registered, on the books LDS’er, but thats another story, lol.

          • ladybugavenger April 24, 2017 at 6:37 pm

            All i know is that I once was blind but now I see. I’m not religious at all. And people that go to church aren’t any better than people that don’t. We’ve all witnessed that.

            Have a good night!
            I ❤️Jesus!

  • wilbur April 23, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Some of the people must be worried their grant money is at risk.

    Everyone knows we need more shrimp treadmill studies.

  • leigh April 23, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    OF COURSE people are worried about their grant money – it pays their salaries, their technicians’ salaries, and their students’ stipends. It also lets them continue their life’s work and to make the breakthroughs that fuel applied research and technical applications. All the most valuable scientific discoveries are made at that level. Government funding of basic research made this country the world’s leader in science and technology during the 20th century. Don’t take my word for it; look it up.

    With regard to shrimp on a treadmill, you should really check that out. It wasn’t done with government money; it was a homemade device that didn’t cost very much; and it was part of a study to determine the effect of changes in water temperature and pollution on the food chain. Does it seem a little more important now?

    • wilbur April 24, 2017 at 9:47 am

      I did check it out.

      $426,000.00 spent by NSF on a study “designed to help promote food safety and the health of commercial shrimp fisheries”.

      Most likely wasted money.

      • leigh April 25, 2017 at 12:47 am

        Why do you think so? What about the study was inappropriate or not done properly? What’s wrong with their results?

      • An actual Independent April 25, 2017 at 6:01 pm

        Oh, food safety. We certainly wouldn’t want any money spent on that. WTF?

  • Henry April 23, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    If you write more articles like this and yesterday’s on the same topic, you’ll need to update your bio, Tracie Sullivan.

    You currently list that you’re an “investigative reporter” that is “known for fairness and integrity”.

    You’ll be more accurate to describe yourself as a “cause publicist” that is “known for partiality and deception”.

    • Chris April 23, 2017 at 10:15 pm

      you obviously have no background in science whatsoever.

      • Henry April 24, 2017 at 7:37 am

        One of my undergraduate degrees was in STEM. What was your major, Chris?

        Analytical people require solid, incontrovertible proof. Not just computer models that aren’t based upon real-world observations, repeated assertions, or “peer review” among like-minded researchers seeking their next government grant.

  • commonsense April 23, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    Science is all we have. Let’s be clear that some think global warming has a basis in science.
    This is fantasy. The earth has been warming and cooling for millions of years. Look at the sediment layers. Their color indicates climate change long before man appeared on earth.
    Should we be responsible, of course. Should we limit emissions, of course. The politicization of environmentalism has become a religion and not science.

  • leigh April 23, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Henry, I was at the march in Cedar City yesterday, and I thought the article was a fair description of events. I’d be interested in hearing what about it you found biased and deceptive.

    • Henry April 24, 2017 at 7:40 am

      See my reply above to Chris, Leigh. The bulk of the article, as well as the participants’ logic, is based upon emotion.

  • leigh April 24, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Some of you seem to think that the march was all about climate change. You clearly weren’t there.

    But speaking of climate change, one writer above tried to tell us that theories about it are not based on science. In fact, they are derived from physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, geology, ecology, anthropology, archeology, and yes, even microbiology (my field – I carried a sign about vaccines) – all sciences, last time I looked. Scientific theories are not guesses, and climate change theories are supported by not just one set of data, but by many different types collected by scientists in all these different fields from many different countries. It’s hard to imagine all of them are part of some great evil global conspiracy. The computer models are really quite accurate. What is especially compelling to me is that most data collected now fit the predictions these models have generated. Those that do not are under close scrutiny, and if their accuracy is confirmed, it’s the theories that will be modified, not the evidence. Belief has no place in any of this.

    • Henry April 24, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      Leigh, you’re incorrect in your statement, “ The computer models are really quite accurate…most data collected now fit the predictions these models have generated.”

      On March 29th, there was a US House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space & Technology hearing on assumptions, policy implications and scientific principles of climate change, with testimony from a number of climate scientists.

      One of them was Dr John R. Christy, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, Alabama’s State Climatologist and Director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Dr Christy has served as Lead Author, Contributing Author and Reviewer of United Nations IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) assessments, has been awarded NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, and in 2002 was elected a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

      Dr Christy demonstrated how average global temperatures predicted by dozens of models for 2015 are now off by a full half-degree Celsius (0.9 F) from what has actually been measured.

      He stated that “the average of the models is considered to be untruthful in representing the recent decades of climate variation and change, and thus would be inappropriate for use in predicting future changes in the climate or for related policy decisions.”
      https://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/HHRG-115-SY-WState-JChristy-20170329.pdf

    • comments April 24, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      Fossil fuels are warming up the earth and creating all kinds of wonky weather. I’ve even noticed it in my lifetime. It’s too bad so many parts of science are totally corrupted by lust for money and greed, because it gets legitimate science lumped in with all the corrupted and fabricated stuff. Dont know what your sign for vaccines was about, but the vaccine industry is one of the most corrupt and greed driven in medicine i think. It’s gone from being about the public good to purely about making money. Someone ought to clean it up.

  • leigh April 24, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    I’ve heard of Dr. Christy and am disappointed, but not surprised, that you cited him as your evidence. I’m sorry to say that he carries little credibility in this field. Please chose several reliable references to support your point of view. You should know, since you’re arguing science, that Just one interpretation of the data isn’t sufficient to disprove the massive evidence gathered by thousands of others. Also, where did your information about computer models come from? Not all computer models are created equal, nor is there just one out there. Which ones do you find unreliable and why? Here’s one place to start but don’t stop there, because some, but not all, of this is also just opinion (https://www.skepticalscience.com/John_Christy_blog.htm). Go to the scientific literature. What peer-reviewed papers has he authored; what journals are they published in and how good are they; how often us he cited by others in the field?

    Now, with regard to vaccines, “comments”, my sign showed data about decreases in deaths and cases of infectious diseases – when was the last time you watched a baby cough itself to death from pertussis, held a child dying from pneumonia secondary to measles, lived through a major flu epidemic like the one in 1917 that killed millions of people, known the heartbreak of loosing a baby to Hib meningitis, rush a child to the hospital with pneumonia and seizures secondary to chicken pox (that happened to my sister), care for a baby with severe birth defects whose mother had rubella during her pregnancy, dealt with a child crippled from polio, suffered from mumps orchitis? Do you know how naturally occurring smallpox was eradicated completely from the face of the earth just a few decades ago? Meningococcal meningitis can be prevented on college campuses and in the military. Pneumococcal pneumonia and otitis media can be prevented in the elderly and the very young, respectively. And no, except for the multidose influenza vaccines, none of these contain thimerosol, which isn’t the form of mercury that is highly toxic anyway. I want to see your evidence against all this. Where are all the fabricated data you claim are out there? Which vaccines do you consider fraudulent and why? Argue with real science. Give me some citations. Evidence, not belief or opinion, is what we were marching for. I did biomedical research for 30 years and taught medical and graduate students for 23 of them. What do you know about this topic that I missed?

    • Henry April 24, 2017 at 6:49 pm

      Leigh, I am disappointed, but not surprised with your response. You are like the University of California-Berkeley students who claim to be for “free speech”, but vociferously smear and try to silence anyone that doesn’t fall in line with their espoused beliefs.

      If you would have bothered to have actually read the 14 pages of Dr Christy’s testimony, you would’ve seen the specifics about the computer models that he addressed. You can easily google for yourself the peer-reviewed papers that he has authored; going into a discussion about it is well beyond the scope of what we can debate as part of the comments on a St George News article. Trying to disparage the credentials of someone with whom you professionally disagree is petty and juvenile.

      You want other sources that question the climate change dogma that you support? From the same Congressional hearing, testimony was also given by Dr Judith Curry and Dr Roger Pielke, Jr.

      Dr Curry is Professor Emeritus of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She has devoted four decades to conducting research on a variety of topics related to weather and climate. Dr Curry is the co-author of Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans (1999), and co-editor of Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences (2002), as well as over 140 scientific papers. Among her awards is the Henry G. Houghton Research Award from the American Meteorological Society in 1992.
      https://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/HHRG-115-SY-WState-JCurry-20170329.pdf

      Dr Pielke has been a Professor in the Environmental Studies Program and a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado-Boulder for the past 16 years. In 2012, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Linköping University in Sweden and was also awarded the Public Service Award of the Geological Society of America. Dr Pielke also received the Eduard Brückner Prize in Munich, Germany in 2006 for outstanding achievement in interdisciplinary climate research.
      https://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/HHRG-115-SY-WState-RPielke-20170329.pdf

      If you attempt to besmirch the credentials of Dr Curry or Dr Pielke, you’ll be joining some sleezy company. The WikiLeaks release of emails of John Podesta, campaign manager for Hillary Clinton, revealed an organized, politically motivated campaign to damage the career and reputation of Dr Pielke.

      If scientists who question “dangerous manmade climate change” are intimidated and threatened, how many will have the courage to not just fall in line with the “consensus” and “settled science”?

      On April 12, 1633 the Catholic Church convicted astronomer Galileo Galilei of heresy, for refusing to accept its doctrine that the Sun revolves around the Earth.

      • comments April 25, 2017 at 11:16 am

        You know, I actually don’t care about all this climate change stuff, because there’s nothing really can be done about it, but I really wish there was more political will to clean up the air quality in cities. Our little Gov. Greedbert up there in SLC pays it lip service, but in the end industry always has their way in this state. I know even a lot of you hardcore right-wing, dodge-ram-driving, gun-nutter types like clean air for you and your offsprings. Burning carbon has its tradeoffs, improving air quality is one that can def be archived. As far as ‘global warmage’, watcha gonna do?

        • comments April 25, 2017 at 4:16 pm

          *achieved not archived. lol

      • leigh April 25, 2017 at 12:28 pm

        I didn’t imagine the fact a lot of people don’t hold Dr. Christy’s findings in high especially high regard. I have read some of his arguments and the responses of those whose models he has challenged. Everything I asked you about his work is exactly what peer reviewers ask about every paper and grant application that comes across their desks. If the data hold up, fine. If not, or if they can’t be reproduced by others, then you start over. Questioning, challenging, and skepticism aren’t insults; they’re part of the process. That’s how science works, and scientists love to prove each other wrong. These researchers you hold in such high regard are doing the same thing to investigators with whom they disagree, but because of the overwhelming abundance of data against them they are facing an uphill battle that many, including some of the most reputable scientists in the world, consider has already been lost. That’s really all I have to say about this.

        • Henry April 25, 2017 at 3:33 pm

          Leigh, your response is rather rich. “Questioning, challenging, and skepticism” is exactly what many scientists have done to the hypotheses and models of climate change alarmists. Rather than try to refute them, many of you resort to trying to smear their reputations.

          In your initial response, you attacked the credibility of Dr Christy and asked for other reliable individuals that refuted the claims of the climate change lobby. When I provided the names of two other extremely qualified individuals, you shift the focus of your argument to the standard “the overwhelming number of scientists believe in climate change”.

          On February 23rd, MIT Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Science Richard Lindzen submitted a petition signed by approximately 300 SCIENTISTS, urging the President to withdraw from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
          https://www.eenews.net/assets/2017/02/23/document_gw_06.pdf

          The bottom line is, those who present themselves as “champions of science” (i.e., fact-based reasoning and commitment to the scientific method) ought to be careful not to blackball everyone who offers a dissenting view.

          If not, rename your “March for Science” as the “March for Silence”.

    • comments April 24, 2017 at 7:17 pm

      I didn’t say I was anti-vaccine. Working in a similar field, you must be at least somewhat aware of how corrupt the industry has become? And the revolving door between gov’t regulators and the vaccine industry? I’ll just say if I had a small baby I’d be very leary of the cdc’s recommendations. Not sure what I’d do. And the HPV vaccine seems like a total scam to me. Once again, not anti-vax but I wish they’d clean up the industry.

      • leigh April 25, 2017 at 11:36 am

        I also wish that something could be done about costs. I suspect we have different ideas about how that could be done. I read up on the HPV vaccine a couple years ago, and it seemed pretty promising, but the data aren’t all in yet. That’s likely to take many more years, and if it turns out to be ineffective, well, that’s that. I do trust the CDC’s data gathering. They have a lot of good people working for them, public health professionals and epidemiologists. I’ve met some of them over the years. I’m pretty sure they’re not involved in a conspiracy, but I will agree that changes in the pharmaceutical industry would be welcome. Trouble is, we are a capitalist country, and they’re in business to make as much money as they can, and they do a great job of lobbying our scientifically naive legislators. I think the vaccines they offer are effective – the data are pretty good, and the epidemiology studies bear that out. Yes, there are problems. I’m trying to show that there’s also a bright side.

        • comments April 25, 2017 at 4:14 pm

          well we probly agree on most of it. From what I understand only a tiny portion of those infected w/ HPV go on to develop any type of cancer from it. I don’t think it’s right to go out and force vaccinate (sometimes forced by states for school enrollment) every 8 year old child against a sexually transmitted infection, especially if “the data is still out”. And yea, I hear that Gardasil is very pricey. Greed takes priority over the public good way too often w/ vaccines. Nothing more to add, really.

          • comments April 25, 2017 at 4:19 pm

            Also gotta wonder how many strains of HPV there are, and which ones will these vaccines even be effective against. I’m not interested enough to delve into it.

  • leigh April 24, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Two more examples – lost a loved one to cervical cancer, treated a baby with severe dehydration from rotovirus infection. There are lots more.

  • leigh April 26, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    The idea that Dr. Curry’s work justifies your denial of climate change is misplaced. She questions some of the data and some of the conclusions but doesn’t deny the scientific value of the research in general. From Nature, one of the most highly respected scientific journals in the world: “Climate skeptics have seized on Curry’s statements to cast doubt on the basic science of climate change. So it is important to emphasize that nothing she encountered led her to question the science; she still has no doubt that the planet is warming, that human-generated greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, are in large part to blame, or that the plausible worst-case scenario could be catastrophic. She does not believe that the Climategate e-mails are evidence of fraud or that the IPCC is some kind of grand international conspiracy.” (http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101101/full/news.2010.577.html)

    It isn’t a guess on my part to say that so far the vast majority of the data do fit the idea of a human cause. What I did NOT say is that most scientists “believe in” climate change. I would never use “believe” in that context. Of course not all those data are correct nor are all the conclusions set in stone, and I’m all for legitimate debate (challenge, questions, skepticism are at the heart of this, contrary to what you implied). It’s bad science and flat out blind denial from people who don’t know how scientific theories are derived that I have little respect for.

    To try to paint everyone involved in climate research as charlatans and then to get unset when someone questions the scientific expertise of one of your sources is hardly fair. This is really the last I have to say on this. Feel free to have the last word. You’re not going to convince me that it’s possible for science to be used to perpetuate fraud on a global basis, and I’m not going to convince you that to understand science you have to look only at the evidence and set aside the idea that belief has anything to do with it.

    • Henry April 26, 2017 at 8:42 pm

      Leigh, it’s humorous to see you reframe your primary argument with each succeeding comment. Now, you’re trying to portray me as in “denial of climate change” and yourself as “all for legitimate debate” – when quite the opposite is true.

      I believe that global temperatures are currently rising. However, there are several pertinent questions. Are temperatures rising at a dangerous and long-term rate? How much of rising global temperatures are caused by man alone, and how much by natural variability? What actions should the U.S. ( and other countries) take? Many of you “open minded” individuals don’t want to discuss these topics.

      Congratulations that you actually read some of what Dr Curry testified; you should read the testimony of the other two also. You would see that they are not “climate deniers”, but are pointing out flaws and inconsistencies in some of the climate change models and assertions.

      For doing this, all three have been harassed:
      – As previously stated, the organized, politically motivated campaign to damage the career and reputation of Dr Pielke was revealed by WikiLeaks.

      – Seven shots were fired into the office of Dr Christy during last weekend’s “March for Science”.
      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/apr/25/shots-fired-over-earth-day-weekend-campus-building/

      – Dr Curry retired on January 1st, stating that “I no longer know what to say to students and postdocs regarding how to navigate the CRAZINESS in the field of climate science. Research and other professional activities are professionally rewarded only if they are channeled in certain directions approved by a politicized academic establishment… it often becomes a battle of scientific integrity versus career suicide…”
      https://judithcurry.com/2017/01/03/jc-in-transition/

      As a former graduate-level teacher, it is SICKENING to witness the fascist tactics that are overtaking much of academia. I can only hope that rid ourselves of this new image – of an interest group which disregards any science that confounds their worldview and politicizes their data, research, and findings for their own ends.

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