(Decorah resident Jodi Enos-Berlage, representing Northeast Iowa March For Science, has submitted the following Letter to the Editor):
"Throughout our nation's history, public support of science, public accessibility to scientific data and evidence-based decision making have resulted in tremendous advances in health care, agriculture, industrial processes and products, and major advances in technology, communication, transportation, and defense. Support of basic research is essential—as the applications often cannot even be imagined until the nature of a system is understood. The economic, health, and security benefits of this nation's investment in science are beyond calculation. Let us celebrate these accomplishments and continue this support—to maximize opportunities for our kids, for our country, and for our common home.
It was in this spirit that a small group of science educators and enthusiasts were inspired to organize a local March For Science, to take place at 10:00 this Saturday morning, April 22nd (Earth Day), rain or shine. A full day of activities—'Design Your Own Earth Day in Decorah'--subsequently evolved. (For a complete schedule of events, visit our Facebook page).
The goal for this non-partisan event is to be as inclusive as possible, in full recognition that we all are dependent upon and benefit from science. As we have engaged with community partners, including both City and County entities, all area educational institutions, prominent agricultural organizations, health care providers, major industries in Decorah, and area clergy, know that we have been nothing short of inspired by your response and interest. And if we did not reach you, know that we simply ran out of time!
We wish to extend a special invitation to area youth, as our children represent our future, and their lives will be more impacted than any other for what we now choose to support. We also welcome the Northeast Iowa arts community, in recognition of the power of the arts—to emotionally connect, communicate to, and transform humans in ways that the sciences simply cannot.
Finally, we urge everyone on this Earth Day to spend time outdoors and 'Touch the Earth' in ways that will increase affection for our fragile planet—recognizing that in the end, we will take care of what we love."