By Deb Lahey, President & CEO, Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
I often go for a long bike ride on Saturdays, but this weekend I’m trading my cycling gear for marching boots.
I am proud and honored to lead a team of Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum staff and volunteers at Saturday’s March for Science. How appropriate is it, on Earth Day, to march in solidarity with scientists and science teachers, including those on our staff! Scientists and science teachers are on the front lines in helping the public understand and appreciate the wonders of nature and science.
Our largest department at the Museum is education, and for good reason. Now, more than ever, it is critical to provide science-based data, facts and science education programs so that everyone can understand how our actions affect nature and the environment on which we all depend for life.
And as Chicago’s oldest museum, we’ve been at the forefront of teaching and connecting people to nature and science for 160 years. In fact, our educators provide more hours of hands-on education to students than any museum in Chicago.
That’s why we developed our newest exhibit, Our House: Rethinking Home in a Changing Climate, which helps people think about how our choices affect the environment.
In celebration of this Earth Day, I encourage families to simply have a discussion about nature and the environment and how they are both critical to our health and overall wellbeing. Take a moment to step outside and observe all the nature that surrounds us, right here in our urban area. If you and your family look for simple ways to connect more with the outdoors, it is amazing how those decisions will grow and harvest with time.
“The aim of science is to discover and illuminate truth. And that, I take it, is the aim of literature, whether biography or history… It seems to me, then, that there can be no separate literature of science.” – Rachel Carson
On that note, we encourage your participation at the March for Science! Please do say hello to our team if you see us proudly carrying Nature Museum signs. And, of course, the Nature Museum is open all day on Earth Day, so feel free to stop by throughout the day or after the march.