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WASHINGTON — Perhaps it was fitting that it poured rain on the March for Science here.

The rallies and marches Saturday — with hundreds of thousands of people attending events around the world — served as a turning point for scientists, when many of them left the sterility of their labs and entered the muck that is politics.


The overwhelming sentiment was that science is under attack, and they could no longer afford to try to float above it all. Scientists had to engage and take their demands to political leaders and policymakers, so they stood for hours on a sodden National Mall here and then marched through puddles to Capitol Hill.

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  • Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha’s work is the perfect example of terrible science being using to make political decisions. Her study quite literally contradicts itself. The data she presents supports the opposite conclusion than the one she reached. All while ignoring the very important reclassifications by the EPA between her study periods.

    She presented junk science and for anyone who actually does the hard work of getting it right, we are ashamed of her, and ashamed of a media that did not think critically because the governor was of a different party.

    Embarrassment is the only thing that should come to mind hearing Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha.

    • Is your implication that children in Flint do not have elevated blood lead levels? Do you believe these elevated lead levels are bad for their health and future well-being? Can you provide more concrete examples from the study publication which support your claim of “junk science” or how their conclusions were contradictory to the evidence presented?

    • She quite clearly shows a reduction in the blood lead levels in the area of the highest contamination. Ward 7 if I remember. Furthermore she shows the same increase in the control population, which doesn’t meet statistical significance due to her choice of pppulations with wildly different underlying risks. It astounds me that those who would march on science wouldn’t take ten minutes to read a four page paper and think critically about it.

    • If this is the research you are referencing:, then can you please give exact examples of where the post-water source change blood lead levels are lower than the pre levels? I am not a clinical researcher, but I have just read this article, and I don’t see where they “clearly show” a reduction, not in the areas with highest contamination at least. The only wards showing a reduction are 4, 8, and 9. Ward 7 seems to have a negligible increase, but an increase nonetheless. If this study design is sub-par, or something like that, couldn’t you just help me understand why it is bad science? I didn’t attend this march, I’m just asking questions about your criticism of the Flint study.

    • Yeah – I looked at Table 2, Ward 7: pre-EBLL is 5.4 and post is 5.9. If .4 to .9 is a decrease, then I’ve been doing math incorrectly my entire life. Ward 5 shows a pre-EBLL of 4.9 and a post of 15.7 – you can’t tell me that is not a mathematical increase. You have a criticism, fine; but to start bashing on people’s ability to think critically without expressing what is flawed about the methodology, results, or conclusions is not the way to have a real dialogue. So, you can demean and criticize, but you apparently cannot defend your own position with anything more than trite comments.

  • Were we all at the same march? While I missed a lot of the podium action (sounds like maybe some for the better), for the 3 hours or so that we marched in the rain in DC there were people around me of all ages, races, and disciplines from paleontology to medicine and public health. And almost all the marchers around me, while not happy about things like denial of climate change, or dismantling the EPA, were studiously inclusive, friendly and polite. I left feeling so glad to have been there to support the next generation of scientists, and more upbeat than I thought about their enthusiasm and maturity.

  • Disappointing. Weak turnout. Very political. The only science was adherence to climate change. Little to nothing about cancer research, global health care, and access to water in sub Saharan cultures.

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