Once upon a time, scientists had faith in their president and government. They believed they were advocates of progress and defenders of the planet. These days, massive cuts to funding, freezes in government agencies employing scientists, and attacks on facts have caused a lot of doubt in our government and it's relationship with science.
Yesterday was Earth Day and thousands of scientists WORLDWIDE marched to show solidarity for the importance of science. I attended the Bryan/College Station March for Science which was small but did a great job of including the local community. As one of the largest research universities in the United States, Texas A&M University does a lot of ground breaking research but most of the community probably doesn't know much about it unless they are directly associated with it in some way. After the march we had a Science Town Hall. There were science demos, the opportunity to "Meet a Scientist" and talks on how science is a part of everyone's life.
I think our little event was a success. And, as for the marches around the globe, I don't know how much it will effect policy, but it got people excited about science. And support from the public is just as crucial to policy as support from politicians, as one can lead to the other.
Whatever the next four years hold for us (Americans AND the world) please remember to be kind. Be kind of each other, be kind to the environment, be kind to yourself.
David and I were playing Family Feud on Facebook today and the question was Name a real or fictional band that has a food in their name. We failed to guess all the answers wondering why the heck Cake wasn’t up there but some random band from the 70’s called Bread was! So, I decided, I’ll text my family to see if they know who this Bread is and if my mom (who isn’t the most musical) knows who they are, then they must have been huge. Well, here’s how the conversation went and my inevitable discovery that I unintentionally “know” who Bread is thanks to my favorite high school band…
The Good News:
While I have a 1 cm cyst on my thyroid, my blood work is normal. The ENT wants me to get it checked in 6 month just to keep an eye on it, but he says it's nothing to be concerned about.
Not much changed from my MRI in October 2015 to my MRI in May 2016. While I have some shotty lymph nodes and degenerated discs, "no significant cervical pathology" was identified.
The Frustrating News:
Not much changed from my MRI in October 2015 to my MRI in May 2016 so we still can't pinpoint what is causing my ear and head pain, which, yes, has gotten worse in the past month.
But, although the radiologist didn't deem it as "significant", he did find levoscoliosis of the thoracic spine and an area of different bone density which "could be" a benign bone tumor of some sort (which apparently were both present on my last MRI but weren't noted). I am currently tracking down all the images (MRIs, CTs, X-rays...) I have gotten of my spine in the past 6 years (which is surprisingly a lot) to determine when this bone density change occurred, if it's what's causing the scoliosis or if I've always had scoliosis but no one told me, and try to determine if its what's causing my problems. Without seeing the other images yet my primary doc says no, the chiro and ENT say maybe, and I still need to talk to the neurologist.
Basically, I'm frustrated and my head hurts every day. It's not pleasant. I can't wait for my vacation in July...