Guest editorial: PCHS Science essay contest winner
Why Science Matters to Me
April 25, 2017
When I was 14 I skied into an aspen tree. I broke both of my femurs and a tibia, millimeters from severing both femoral arteries. The result was immediate surgery, a blood transfusion, a month in a wheelchair, physical therapy, and seven months of crutches; it was the best thing to happen to me. Because of this near death experience, I grew up.
I realized I had taken some of the most precious things we as conscious beings are blessed with, for granted. Relying on the physical ability of my family, I began to love. I never before realized the sheer amount others would do for the ones they care about — regardless if they notice or understand why — and I most certainly never before realized how lucky I was.
These are privileges amongst others millions around the world, let alone the United States, don't have and won't ever get. And I refrain from saying that this shall continue at the pace we as a society are traveling now, because that's simply not true. Those who believe in society's ability to overcome oppression and strife, know that this doesn't have to be the case.
The fact that people, brought here from all walks of life, have taken the time out of their lives to stand and march for science means that the battle has not been lost; we have only been woken up to necessity. We the people have realized the grave mistake of not handling climate change appropriately, proving the spirit of change is very much alive and well. But climate change, or as we should begin to call it for the sake of pragmatism, "The eventual-destroyer-of- coastlines-and-habitats-around-the-world," is only one of the wounds which we as a unified people must bind.
I refuse to live my life accepting that climate change's envelope has been sealed. The sciences have been an intrinsic part of my life from the time I was building Lego starships, to realizing that the expansion of renewable energies is my purpose on this earth. Thus, I also refuse to live my life thinking that my efforts don't matter. I refuse to live my life thinking that the continuation and acceptance of science has been defeated with a Democratic White House, and I especially refuse to live my life in a country where NASA, NOAA and the arts are only a history lesson.
I firmly believe that the human ability to transform their surroundings into a world better than it was before, is indomitable. This is what science has meant over the course of millennia since Aristotle thought it might be a good idea to write down whatever thoughts came to mind, and what science has meant to me. Pursuing science is one of the noblest courses in which we might sail our lives, something the educated and influential members of society must remember and uphold — for at the end of the day — it's truly only the individual actions for the betterment of society which shall keep the flag of progress waving high and proud.