An IH at the March for Science
I was one of approximately 40,000 participants (six from my church, the United Church of Christ in Valley Forge, Pa.) in the March for Science on Saturday, April 22, 2017, braving the rain most of the day. My church members included an engineer from Unisys, his coworker, the wife of a pharmaceutical firm VP for manufacturing, an IT project consultant, a pharmaceutical research scientist, his daughter (a mathematics teacher), and me. We all believe that our country's policies should be guided by science, not the fiction of alternative facts.
As some of our photos show, scientists (including industrial hygienists!) can be a creative and comedic crowd. Scientists are generally organized finders of facts and disseminators of evidence.
One photo shows the teach-in schedule, with eight tents set up offering presentations of up to an hour in length from 9 a.m. until about 12:20 p.m. I attended the “Creek Critters” session, which presented an app that has been developed to help identify and classify small animal life in streams, an indicator of water quality. It brought me back to my college days, my undergraduate environmental degree, and my first few years of professional practice.
Proudly wearing a lab coat given to me by the AIHA, I held conversations with my friends from church, others who joined us in the march, and some of the march organizers. Some knew little or nothing about our profession but were interested to learn. I thoroughly enjoyed the very long day (leaving home at 3:30 a.m. and returning at 11 p.m.) and the beauty and majesty of downtown Washington, D.C. At day’s end our hope was that our voices were heard regarding the need to more fully use scientific evidence regarding legislation affecting our work environments, which, in the case of industrial hygienists, consists of the whole world around us.