Capitol Hill has been taking swipes at science for years. Support for science is hurting in the US and now, according to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, it’s time to stop rolling with the punches.
By Geraldine Cremin|MOTHERBOARD
In a move that commentators equated to a war on science, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), the chairman of the House Science Committee, last year launched an aggressive review of grants handed out to agencies including NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation.
Since then, the Senate acknowledged climate change is real but denied the problem is caused by human activity, effectively tying its own hands when it comes to taking action on the issue. To emphasize the Senate’s sentiment, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), the chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, basically proposed a snowball fight on the Senate floor to prove that global warming is a hoax.
It’s easy to roll your eyes and point fingers at the powers that be for their stubborn and questionable views on science, but ultimately the people on the Hill are elected officials. And so, echoing the words of Captain Planet himself, Tyson says the power is yours.
Motherboard caught up with the Head of the Hayden Planetarium (and People Magazine’s Sexiest Astrophysicist) to talk science, politics, and how the two have come into such fierce opposition.