March for Science on Earth Day

IMG_5797An estimated 800 people showed up at 9:30am on a cold Saturday morning to March for Science in my city.

The March for Science coincided with Earth Day, and events took place worldwide.

Activists are hoping to shed light on the importance of science funding and support – after all, we need science to make medical breakthroughs and advances, to help us create better technology that will allow us to have cleaner energy, and to provide governments with evidence-based research so government policy can be more effective for all.  As Neil deGrasse Tyson says, our goal is to “Recognize what science is and allow it to be what it can and should be in the service of civilization.”

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My city has two major research universities.  Here’s a snippet of an article about the effect of proposed budget cuts on one, from USA Today:

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, billed as a “Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” would leave big holes in research funding.

The budget has raised a host of concerns from University of Rochester officials, who noted that federal funds account for the lion’s share of UR’s research budget — 72 percent of $361.7 million last fiscal year, which ended on June 30.

“The proposed cuts would severely impact our research programs and university operations, curtail our ability to recruit and retain research talent and train the next generation of scientists, and significantly diminish the university’s contribution to regional growth,” said UR President Joel Seligman, in a recent message to UR faculty and staff.

Photos: taken by me

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I had a personal reason to attend The March for Science.  My dad was an engineer at Kodak, and his team was honored by the EPA in 2003.  He received the award for developing and commercializing the Particle Transfer Roller (PTR), which is today used by almost every film lab and film-to-video transfer facility, and it reduces the use of solvents in cleaning film.  He won the award for protecting the ozone layer.

He was always interested in environmental technology.  Here’s an article about another project he did from Film Journal in 2004:

Silver-applicated soundtracks require toxic redeveloper solutions that use 10 chemicals on the EPA watch list. As much water is used in the print-washing process as would serve the drinking water needs of a city of 100,000. Soundtrack application errors are a major cause of print rejection. Their silver content complicates the disposal of the more than 10 billion feet of used film stock annually. All in all, this old technology had become ever more costly, in environmental impact as well as in dollars and cents…Anticipating environmental legislation that might affect the film industry in the future, John Pytlak of Kodak approached Ioan Allen of Dolby Laboratories in the early 1990s. He thought there might be an electronic solution, and that Dolby’s soundtrack expertise could help find it. He was mostly right on both counts…The result was the formation in 1998 of the Dye Track Committee that today includes motion picture distributors, exhibitors, film stock manufacturers and film laboratories, all dedicated to replacing silver-applicated analog 35mm soundtracks with pure cyan-dye tracks. That year also saw the beginning of extensive testing, spearheaded by Dolby, Kodak, Fuji, Agfa, Technicolor and Deluxe.

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