March for Science – April 22, 2017

Dear Faculty,

I am writing to you to urge you to join the “March for Science” protest on Saturday, April 22nd – Earth Day – that is planned for LA, DC and many other cities across the US and worldwide.

President Trump’s proposed budget includes an 18.3% cut in NIH funding and devastating cuts to other agencies such as the EPA that collect and act on scientific data. His administration has also taken stands against the scientific consensus on such issues as climate change. These are deeply disturbing actions that will impact the university, American competitiveness, and all our futures.

In response, the LA March for Science will be held at Pershing Square Park, April 22nd from 9am to 4pm. You can register or find more details at

I am also going to suggest that faculty, staff, and students might consider meeting at the NW corner of Pershing Square – although if the march is anything like the Women’s March from earlier in the year, there may be no room to move! Either way, I hope you will consider joining us as we send a message about our values.

I will end by quoting from the Shared Faculty Values that were endorsed by the Academic Senate on 12/14/2016:

“We uphold the principles of fact- and reason-based objective inquiry. Rigorous academic scholarship – prominently including, but not exclusively comprising, scientific research – is central to understanding ourselves and the world of which we are a part. It is not a special interest; it is not optional. It is a foundational ingredient in how we as a society analyze, understand, and solve the most difficult challenges that we face. There is nothing more dangerous to the future of humankind than ignoring or suppressing our understanding of reality. Although academic research and scholarship can raise political questions, such scholarship and the acknowledgment of the findings so revealed must be above politics.”

To discuss go to our Facebook post.

Thank you,

Paula Cannon, PhD
President of the Academic Senate
Professor of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology
Keck School of Medicine
University of Southern California