Organizers of a March for Science say their effort not political, and we agree with the sentiment that science should be out of the reach of politicians. But we know all too well that's not the case and for that reason we also know that the nationwide marches scheduled for Earth Day are intended to deliver a message to the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress.
It is beyond obscene in this day and age of incredible scientific prowess that our brightest minds should be constrained by the ideology of a ruling party. But that's what's happening. Budgets for research and programs in environmental, medical, energy and more are proposed to be slashed in Trump's budget (while funding for nuclear weapons would surge by 11 percent).
The cuts are driven partly by a desire to hem in government spending but equally by a desire among hardcore conservatives to put blinders on the country on topics ranging from climate change to the spread of infectious diseases. Stop people from asking questions, their thinking goes, and they won't come up with answers that we disagree with.
But the natural world, from warming oceans to disease-carrying bugs, doesn't care what your ideology is — it responds to the realities of its environment. Saying we won't study the warming world won't stop it from warming.
The March for Science (www.marchforscience.com) will help send a message that science needs to operate outside political ideologies. There's a lot more at stake than just an election.