Carl Sagan, a great popularizer of Science, told us "We are made of starstuff." He was able to do that because he "stood on the shoulders of giants". Intellectual giants.
People like Pythagoras, Hypatia of Alexandria, Archimedes, Aristotle, Galen, Hildegard of Bingen, Leonardo DaVinci, Gutenberg, William Harvey, Isaac Newton, Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Galileo, Joseph Priestly, Antoine Lavoisier, Gregor Mendel, Darwin, Mendeleyev, Ada Lovelace, Marconi, Edison, Marie Curie, Einstein, Watson and Crick, Robert Goddard, Rachel Carson, Yuri Gagarin, Valentina Tereshkova, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, and on and on and on. Imagine how long we could go on listing all of the people who have contributed to the sum of human knowledge in 2017.
The only reason women are under represented in this list is that before they could participate in Science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics, they had to demand their right to do so. And they did make many contributions. Laura Maria Caterina Bassi, Merit-Ptah (c. 2700 BC), described as "chief physician", is the earliest known female scientist named in the history of science. Margaret Lucas Cavendish was a philosopher, poet, scientist, fiction-writer, and playwright who lived in the seventeenth century.
The Green Party looks to women today to work alongside men unraveling the remaining secrets that nature holds. 17 women have been awarded the Nobel Prize in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine so far.
A thousand years ago humanity struggled through the Dark Ages. Knowledge was, to some extent, archived until the Renaissance when Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math got its' second wind and helped to liberate mankind. Let NOT another Dark Age descend upon us! Ideology should never supersede fact. Inconvenient Truths are still truths. Pretending in the face of reality will quadruple the expense to come.
All of us here have benefitted to varying degrees from the fruits of scientific endeavor. Public education has contributed to literacy, right down the street is The Providence Athenaeum, among our country's first public Libraries. Horace Mann graduated from our own Brown University and went on to promote universal public education. Our many colleges contribute to the pursuit of scientific knowledge.
The Ocean State is a beautiful place and Narragansett Bay is a vital resource. As stewards of our state, we must depend on science to defend its' natural bounty from the pressures posed by a million residents.
Politics is not a dirty word. It is the means by which a society organizes itself and it does reflect our principles and priorities. When did the 'pursuit of happiness' supersede the pursuit of facts, knowledge and wisdom? If a truth is inconvenient to one's happiness do we deny it? When did ideology supersede facts?
We Can Handle the Truth! Bring it On!