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Reeling from election shock, scientists charge on


At a marine lab, there is always something to do that keeps you on your feet. Today, like any other day, was filled with aquarium cleaning, a microscope photo session, and a few hours of emails. Today was also unlike any other day. We took the dogs for a walk and watched them take delicate nibbles from the lab tech's apple when he wasn't paying attention. We dedicated a lab computer to live updates from every major news outlet. Starting at 7 PM, we broke out the fieldwork-reserved beer and wine hidden in our office. Today is Election Day.

The day began with hope. We all believed that we would be electing our first female president dedicated to protecting values that we all shared. As the hours charged on, we began to lose hope. Sunset passed and no one could tear their eyes from the scrolling newsfeed. We sat huddled in the darkened office with calculators, hoping there would be a way that Hillary could pull the election in her favor, but we all knew it would not happen. As a lab of all female scientists, we felt this blow in more than one way. As women, we were horrified that someone like Donald Trump could be elected by our fellow citizens. As scientists focusing on climate change, we feared for our future careers.

I am honestly unable to process how this will have concrete ramifications for my future. As much as I'd like to believe in the power of bureaucracy to slow whatever inevitably horrible cuts to science are coming, I cannot imagine the magnitude of effects in the near future. All I know is that tomorrow, we will continue to do what we know best: high quality research. Science is not a partisan issue and should not be treated as such. I fear that this administration will do its best to bury us, and we have to do what we can to fight back.


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© 2019 Richelle Tanner

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