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A short and sweet defense of science

James Weyhenmeyer, vice president for research and economic development at Georgia State University, offers a concise summary of the importance of science as Atlanta prepares for a March for Science Saturday. The noon event at Candler Park is a sister event to the big march being held in Washington, D.C.

By James Weyhenmeyer

People across the country will participate tomorrow in the March for Science, a display of public support for the value of research and the need for a continuing strong investment in it by the federal government.

Many words will be said and written to make the case for the importance of the vital work being done across the country by brilliant women and men who are daily making new discoveries, solving problems and building a brighter future for all of us.

But the case for scientific research is quite simple and really comes down to a few fundamental facts.

•Research has saved millions and millions of lives.

•Research has improved the quality of life for millions of people and extended the lives of millions more.

•Research has identified the fundamental elements of life on Earth, enabling innumerable discoveries that have affected everyone on the planet.

•Research has been the starting point for millions of new products, such as mobile phones, refrigerators, airplanes and automobiles that have dramatically changed our world and driven our economy.

That’s it. Case closed.

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About the Author

Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.