The reasons for this protest are not the ones you've heard. The March for Science - Portland, Oregon as documented by a scientist on April 22nd, 2017.
The national media - both right and left leaning - is playing up the March for Science as an anti-Trump protest. While that certainly compelled some, it wasn't why I was there. I wanted to make this film to show that many of Portland's doctors and scientists - including myself - are increasingly concerned about the distrust of science coming from both sides of the political aisle. We live in a technological society built on generations of scientific advances, and yet almost all media and public policy is authored by individuals with no formal experience interpreting data or working within our vast research infrastructure. This, combined with a Darwinian social media world where the simplest and most outrageous stories win, is creating an environment ripe for mistaken beliefs.
In few places is this contrast more visible than in Portland. Many who criticize President Trump's views on climate change themselves ignore scientific consensus on water fluoridation, genetically-engineered foods, and vaccines. However, this doesn't mean all science should instantly be translated into law. Fluoridation, while safe, is a band-aid for the sugar-rich diet of American children. Perhaps the smarter decision would be to focus our political capital on that. Etc, etc.
In this film, I document not bandwagon reactionaries - but people who may have been out here regardless of who was elected last November. Much of this crowd consists of PhDs, MDs, doctoral students, well-informed citizens, and highly-trained technical professionals. These people deeply love their country and wish to better educate their fellow citizens. I am proud to be one of them.
Further reading on some of the major challenges facing science or introduced in this film can be found in the excellent secondary literature below:
The career & financial challenges that face young American scientists long predate the current administration and little action was taken to correct this during the Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, or Obama presidencies:
Ultra-liberal Portland voters recently rejected evidence-based policy on water fluoridation, which was featured in National Geographic's cover story - "The War on Science":
A data-heavy textbook on the evidence for human-caused climate change by a scientist shown in this film. Get it used as low as $4 on Amazon here:
A few of the science-based organizations represented by concerned citizens at the March for Science - Portland who are pictured in this film. A sincere thank you to absolutely everyone who allowed me to interview them for this film:
The March for Science:
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative:
The Nature Conservancy:
International Dark-Sky Association:
For more information about this film or if you wish to use it in a broadcast - email me at:
©2017 Discover Oregon Video Productions, LLC