So, I’ve been doing some thinking over this holiday about where I want to be in the future, and what I want my career to look like. I look at the political climate, the rampant denial of empirical evidence and I worry about my future as, not only someone who believes in science, but as a woman in these male dominated fields. I worry about little girls who want to be scientists, but are told that it’s for boys. I worry about the smart girl in class who is told by her friends that she won’t ever get a boyfriend if she is interested in math. I worry about the little boy who likes to dance, or likes to put on puppet shows. I worry about all children who might be afraid to express themselves because of what others may think of them. I hope that any of my readers who have children, encourage them to follow facts to wherever they end. Encourage them to be artists, musicians, scientists, astronauts, journalists—just encourage them to be true to themselves, no matter what oppositions they may face.
I worry about the damage the incoming administration is poised to impact education, science, and the environment. We live in a world where the vocal minority seems to be so wrapped up in their bubbles that facts don’t matter. Reality is skewed for them. We have an entire legislative branch that now is going to lean a single direction. The oppositions don’t exist. Checks and balances won’t exist. I can hope that my fears won’t come to fruition, but I am more realistic about the situation as a whole.
So, this new year, 2017, I wish for peace, understanding, and the ability to stand up for the little guy when he/she is being threatened or told that they are to conform or be punished. Teach your kids to be curious, to read banned books, to question the status quo. This is the only way that a society can progress. Do not stifle someone else’s light just because it shines a little differently than yours.