One of the most poignant and lasting memories of my childhood self was my obsession with space. This is nothing new, really. Lots of kids like space. This shouldn’t be a surprise. The thing is, it may be common, but a love of space never feels common. On the contrary, it feels special and grand. Sure, there are millions of other people who share that love, maybe billions, but compared to the universe, that’s still a pretty exclusive club.
So is just being from Earth.
While I may have found out that space is one of the most fascinating things (or combination of things) ever on my own, the catalyst for this revelation in me was when my school was visited by an astronaut. I don’t even remember his name, but I remember him talking about going up on the shuttle, doing experiments you can’t do on Earth, how we can one day start exploring again.
Unfortunately, more kids will not have the same opportunity I did. Due to the Sequester, NASA is having to cut all of their public outreach. No more school visits and informational websites, no more videos, no more attempts to promote work in STEM fields. All gone in an instant.
I cannot describe how much rage that inspires in me. Remember, the Sequester is dumb on purpose. It’s supposed to hurt. But it doesn’t have to happen at all.
Congress can repeal the Sequester and put in cuts that make sense. It would require that the troglodytes that are cheering it on because, you know, cuts, be worked around and shamed within an inch of their careers, but it can be done.
So call your representatives and senators. Let them know that science outreach means something. If we are to continue to advance our knowledge and remain competitive with the rest of the world, we need to embrace and promote STEM education, not feed it to the relatively small mass of ignorant trolls and their huckster leaders who have convinced them that science is a waste of money, a collection of opinions based on faith, rather than our best hope of building a better humanity that will one day spread to the stars.