Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Federal Scientists: Brave New World

This dull picture comes from a federal scientist who is working on a project to prevent the Asian carp from invading—and essentially, destroying— the Great Lakes. It’s thankless work, hanging out on barges to measure river currents and the like. But if federal and state governments are going to succeed in interdicting this destructive fish, good science is required.
My daughter-in-law, Jess Zinger LeRoy, is spending much of August on the industrialized waterways near Chicago so that we—and future generations—can enjoy Lake Michigan in its natural state, free of flying and species-destroying carp.
I recall coffee with Jess when she started in her Ph.D. program. Like any scientist, she is intensely curious. That’s why she—and legions of scientists— put up with working conditions that most of us would run from. Not to mention the tedium of crunching data.
There is a bigger picture. Jess is part of an immense network of federal scientists who study our land, waterways and rivers, oceans, climate, atmosphere and so on.
Today, that’s a dangerous job because of the Trump administration’s active and aggressive hostility to science as a human pursuit, and federal scientists as employees.

Thank you, Jess. Thank you, scientists who leaked the climate study to “MSM” outlets. Our survival depends on your work.

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