Petition to U.S. Senators and Representatives
Tell Congress: Stand up for science funding
Science is essential to restoring degraded coral reefs, saving threatened species, securing clean water for all, and slowing the onslaught of climate change. But the reality is the Administration's proposed budget makes devastating cuts to vital scientific programs we need for a brighter future—from cutting the EPA Office of Research and Development budget in half, to completely eliminating funding for UN climate change research and NOAA coastal and marine research. Here's the bottom line: Without critical scientific programs like these, we will fall behind—and more special places will be lost forever. We need you to add your voice today to protect science and keep innovation off the chopping block. Take a stand right now and tell your representatives and senators to say no to cuts to scientific research.
Petition to His Excellency János Áder, His Excellency Viktor Orbán, M.P., Rt. Hon. Zoltán Balog, M.P.
Save Central European University
Legislation has been introduced in Hungary's National Assembly (Országgyűlés) that specifically targets Central European University, one of the most prestigious universities in Central and Eastern Europe. CEU is a private university “dedicated to socially and morally responsible intellectual inquiry.” It is accredited in both Hungary and the United States, and recognized through a specific Hungarian law in its name, and funded independently by a founding endowment, philanthropic gifts, foundation grants, partnerships, tuition income and research grants. CEU is highly ranked, and annually serves approx. 1500 students from over 100 countries. Concerns about a “potential foreign influence” have led the populist Orbán government to target CEU. The proposed amendments to the Act CCIV of 2011 on National Higher Education, which have been introduced into parliament on March 28, 2017, specifically aim to: prohibit Central European University from operating under its present name as-is, unless its changes the name of its Hungarian entity; impose work permit vetting by the Hungarian government on non-EU faculty; prevent CEU from issuing US degrees to its students through its Hungarian entity even though Hungary and the US are both OECD members; require CEU to open a campus in the state of New York. The official response from CEU describes the legislation as purposefully “discriminatory and unacceptable” and argues that the amendments will make the university's continued operation as a “free and independent international graduate university” impossible. We, scholars, students and supporters of free and unbiased scientific research and education call on the Hungarian National Assembly to drop the proposed legislation and to enter negotiations with the leadership of CEU that will ultimately allow this prestigious university to remain a proud contributor to scientific discourse in Hungary. Updated on 29 March 2017 at 20:47 to include minor corrections.
Petition to President of the United States
Save America’s Space Program
Save America’s manned and womanned space program. NASA has not been able to get Americans into space on American rockets since 2011. Instead, we are paying the Russians four billion dollars to ferry our astronauts to the International Space Station. What’s killing America’s human access to space? Three projects: a rocket called the Space Launch System, a capsule called the Orion, and a new project called the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway. These three programs are political boondoggles, pork, pie in the sky, jobs programs disguised as space programs. The Space Launch System, for example, is touted as the biggest rocket ever built. But its $30 billion development cost is eating up almost all of NASA’s human budget for deep space. Compare that $30 billion with the cost of developing Elon Musk’s Falcon Heavy—less than a billion dollars. In other words, for the cost of developing the Space Launch System, we could develop thirty brand new rockets if we took the Elon Musk route. Or we could develop an entire Moon and Mars program. After thirteen years of promises, the Space Launch System has never flown. And when it does, it will cripple NASA. The cost of one launch will be between one and two billion dollars. For that price, you could buy between eleven and 22 launches of the Falcon Heavy. You could buy the launches for an entire Moon and Mars program. What’s worse, after the launch of each Space Launch System rocket, we will throw the exorbitantly-priced rocket away, then we will be forced to buy another one. Meanwhile, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are making rockets reusable. And reusable rockets, like reusable busses, trucks, trains, cars, and airplanes, will lower our cost of access to space dramatically. Then there’s the Orion capsule that the SLS will fling into space. It cannot land. It can’t land on the Moon. It can’t land on Mars. And it’s too small to carry crews to Mars. It is a boondoggle. Topping it all off is the Lunar Orbital Platform – Gateway, another nipple in the mouth of the Space Military Industrial Complex, another make-work program. It is a mini space station orbiting the moon. It's useless and can't even be manned or womanned year-round. But it will cost so much to build that we’ll never be able to build lunar landers. We won’t touch down on the moon. We’ll simply circle the moon from a distance and watch with frustration as the Chinese land human beings. America needs low cost, high safety human access to space. It needs what Musk’s Dragon 2 capsule and Boeing’s Starliner promise. An inexpensive space Lyft car for human passengers. And America needs lunar landers, lunar rovers, lunar mining equipment, lunar trucks, and a lunar home in which humans can kick back and relax, a lunar base. America needs the same things for Mars. Because the Space Launch System, the Orion, and the Lunar Orbital Platform–Gateway are eating NASA’s lunch, we do not have the money to develop any of these things. It is time to kill the SLS, the Orion, and the Lunar Orbital Platform–Gateway. Before the Chinese take over our leadership position in human access to space. If you agree, please sign.
Petition to CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX Broadcasting Company, Federal Communications Commission
Petition for Science Programming on Major Broadcast Networks
Freedom, by any standard, must include unadulterated and free access to information. The major broadcast networks serve as a standard bearer of this freedom and are entrusted with the management and permitted free-use of the airwaves owned by the People. And from time to time, it is incumbent upon we the People to request that deficiencies in programming be addressed by these standard bearers. As representatives of the People, we hereby demand that the deficiency in accurate scientific reporting be remedied. We require 1 to 2 hours per week of inspiring, accurate scientific reporting and programming from ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX! Presently, there is little to no science programming on the ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX from 6 PM to midnight, for all seven days of the week. This represents 168 hours per week of programming with an abundance of 1) news programs, 2) courtroom, medical and police dramas, 3) sitcoms, 4) sports, and 5) reality TV. [ 6 hours/day x 4 networks x 7 days/week/network = 168 hours/week ] This is a tremendous missed opportunity to include the viewing population on matters of contemporary scientific interest and the lack of these opportunities has a destructive effect on our nation. We can do better. ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX have a corporate civic responsibility to provide accurate scientific programming to the People. The importance of such scheduled programming cannot be understated. Our nation has recently elected a personality they knew well from The Apprentice, who disagrees with basic and modern science as it pertains to fundamental issues of national importance. In this situation, providing informative, scientific knowledge to the public is less about providing the public with what it wants, but rather about providing the public with what it needs. Some may argue that science programming does not get ratings because the public has more interest in sports and reality TV, among other genres. This, however, is not as true as it seems. The Big Bang Theory, a show blending quirky characters and interjecting mild hints of science has been extremely well-received, and even features prominent personalities in modern science and astronauts (Stephen Hawking, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and Mike Massimino, among others). Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, by Seth MacFarlane and Neil DeGrasse Tyson, among others, an entertaining documentary series, was acclaimed and enjoyed by many - which aired on Sundays at 9 pm on FOX in 2014. Science has also shown that it can sell at theaters as films such as The Martian, Interstellar, Gravity, and Arrival are showing. Science can sell if it is presented correctly. The public craves an inclusion in our nation’s scientific endeavors, but simply is not given the chance to engage. ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX, together, are a national asset as they are public networks. The problem is that if you want to routinely enjoy good science programming, you have to pay for additional channels, or seek it out online. The consequences of this stifle our country, and the world. A prime example of the type of series our nation routinely needs is Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. The 45 minute episodes of this series wove scientific discovery and wonder with the inspiring human stories of sacrifice and triumph in the name of exploration. Science should be presented as the inspiring adventure that it is. Nobody knew this better than Carl Sagan, author of the original Cosmos, and a scientific ambassador. Such stories will provide our country with much needed knowledge, discussion, and inspiration! “Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. Science is the highest personification of the nation because that nation will remain the first which carries the furthest the works of thought and intelligence.” –Louis Pasteur --- Thank you for reading this far, and we hope you will join us by signing our petition! We hope to achieve 1,000,000 supporters!Frank J. Centinello III, Ph.D.Alex J. Evans, Ph.D.
Petition to Sir Aneerood Jugnauth, Soodesh Satkam Callichurn, Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Hon. (Mrs) Leela Devi DOOKUN-LUCHOOMUN, Honourable Mr Prithvirajsing Roopun
Introduce Sanskrit in all Mauritian Schools.
#Sanskrit_In_Mauritian_Schools "Yaam medham devaganah pitarashcha upaasate, tayaa maamadhya medhayaagne, medhaavinam kuru" ***That knowledge revered by the saints and our forefathers, oh God, please bestow upon me.*** Today, it is known that Sanskrit is the most computer-friendly language, and that its Grammar, Panini's Grammar, is the most suited for Natural Language Processing... But not only that... In the wake of the waves of debauchery running through Mauritius, one is overwhelmed by the sheer ugliness of criminality in the country. 7 year old kids tie and put their classmate on fire, 9 year old kids rape a 7 year old. 13-14 year olds are making blue films.. star-college students are diagnosed with AIDS, while other star-college students make blue films they are proud of, only regretting that the films went public... Society is consumed by consumerism, schools and colleges are rife with synthetic drugs, and of all things, youths are campaigning for the legalisation of more drugs!! And their parents are even worse.. People commit crimes with total disregard for any values whatsoever.. Corruption is everywhere, the institutions such as the police, the ministries and the civil service are seen to be unprofessional and unworthy, and the Lambda citizen has a dearth of role models! All this points to an increasing lack of moral values and civic education and sheer disrespect for human life coupled with the belief that they will thwart the law ("The rules are for others, not me!").. In this context one ponders that instead of imposing regulations through the law, people should be made to auto-regulate themselves, to "self-regulate". They should be made to understand the reasons behind civilisation and instilled with civic sense.. And that, at as an early age as possible. So, what better way to do that than to turn to philosophy? And what better philosophy, in a country where more than half the population has roots in India, than Indian Philosophy? And again, what better means to do that than allow those people to read of that philosophy themselves, in the native language that the said philosophy was formulated in? Sanskrit! Currently people of Indian origin(especially native Biharis - Bhojpuri speakers) learn Hindi.. Which at best can lead to a career as newscaster, writer or teacher.. But in general leads to nothing more than a good understanding of Bollywood films. Films glorifying sexuality, precocious or not, glorifying passion as the only form of relationship and misrepresented as "love", and soap-operas parading as value-based family films that are guides to the destruction of the family (think "Kyunki Saas...") Instead, Sanskrit would allow them to read the deepest human philosophies that have stood 5 millennia and still hold true.(Vasudheiva Kutumbakam, "The whole world is one family").. People would turn to spirituality as guidance to proper conduct, instead of as only solace after a heartbreak. They would understand the meaning of all prayers being said for them, like the one at the top, said in every hawan. The values in Indian Philosophy run so deep they allowed India to flourish through numerous colonisations, and even today, form the basic building blocks of most modern philosophical movements. So in response to the ugly path of fashion, of following the herd, of "qu'en dira-t-on?"; Why reinvent the wheel and try to invent a new means of spreading values? Why not use something that has been proven and seen to work. Why not Sanskrit? Sanskrit was allowed in Mauritius legally side-by-side with Arabic as a means to promote civic education, but while Arabic has been implemented country-wide, Sanskrit is taught at hardly a dozen schools, and this has a direct effect on the erosion of values within Mauritian society. So, this is a plea to allow and promote Sanskrit as a language which will also help kids to grasp intricate and advanced language skills and give them a strong base to learn all Indo-European languages including German, Italian, Croatian, Spanish, English and French.. If you agree,please sign this petition. Hopefully the next generation (think.. our kids and grandchildren) will not just pay lip-service to prayers and mantras(pun intended), but actually know their meaning, and live those Values. Namaste (The divine within me, bows down to and honours the divine within you).Arvind C.S Bhagan
Petition to National Academy of Sciences, NASPresident@nas.edu
Remove Sexual Harassers from National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was established to bring together a community of scholars to advise the nation on issues of science and science policy. Members of the National Academy reflect our national commitment to outstanding science, advocacy, safety and inclusion. The scientific community has, however, been damaged by sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is illegal and the goals of the NAS are not compatible with members who have violated these laws. We, the undersigned, ask that you revoke the honor of membership bestowed on individuals who have been sanctioned for sexual harassment, retaliation and assault. By removing these individuals from the NAS community, we can begin to repair and damage done by these individuals, restore the NAS community to a place of prestige and acknowledge we can and will move forward with a commitment to providing environments that foster scientific discovery.
Petition to American Association for the Advancement of Science, Susan Hockfield, Margaret Hamburg
Rid the AAAS of Sexual Harassers
One in ten women in science report they skip national conferences because of sexual harassment. Over 40% of women in science report having been harassed or assaulted on the job. The fact that individuals guilty of sexual harassment have retained their membership, or even the more prestigious appointment as AAAS Fellows, is unconscionable. Scientists should reasonably expect national professional societies to honor the safety of all their members. The American Association for the Advancement of Sciences is the largest scientific society and membership is an honor bestowed on the best of our scientific community. The AAAS Constitution's first stated goal is 'furthering the work of scientists, to facilitate cooperation among them, fostering scientific freedom and responsibility, to improve the effectiveness of science in the promotion of human welfare'. These goals can not be achieved while harboring individuals who have been sanctioned for sexual harassment, retaliation or assault. We, the undersigned, ask that you revoke the honor of membership bestowed on individuals who have been sanctioned for sexual harassment, retaliation and assault by their employers. We ask that all members be required to provide documentation from their current administration, and any past institutions with which they have been associated in the last 15 years, that they have not been sanction for violations of employee codes or conduct related to sexual harassment, assault or retaliation. By removing these individuals from the AAAS community, we can begin to repair and damage done they have done, restore the AAAS community to a place of prestige and move forward with a commitment to providing safe environments that foster scientific discovery.
Petition to Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Protect United States Wetlands
The United States Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of a rulemaking change that has disastrous consequences for wetlands. Today was the last day of many continuing public comment periods regarding this rule. While we submitted a well-thought out policy-based analysis too, we need public support to show EPA that we aren't messing around when it comes to our planet. By adopting an outdated and scientifically baseless definition of "Navigable Waters" and "Waters of the United States", the EPA can essentially set back the Clean Water Act's protection of Wetlands to nothing. This poses a problem for the entire country, as the EPA claims to be about "Regulatory Transparency" but these state agencies will no longer have the discretion needed to protect our wetlands. Wetlands are crucial to the wellbeing of waters all over the states, and especially the Gulf of Mexico, which is already declared "impaired" by the US EPA. Our wetlands are a center for diverse and beautiful wildlife, and perform an extremely important ecological function in regulating water flows and pollution. Join us in showing the EPA that we stand against this rule change and stand strongly in support of United States wetlands and the creatures that call our wetlands home.