Across the nation, scientists – and those who support science – have taken to the streets (and to social media) to express their concerns about what some perceive to be a lack of support for science and research. Potential cuts in critical investments in federal research threaten the ability of our nation’s educational institutions to provide a world-class education to our future workforce. These cuts also hinder the pursuit of groundbreaking research, which addresses key challenges of our time and the delivery of cutting-edge services to our communities. Science matters.

On the food and ag front, federal funds help support research that is vital to a healthy, sustainable food system. The results of that research often end up on your plate. (And in today’s featured image).

In the run up to Saturday’s Science March – which was held in cities across the globe on Earth Day –  the UC Food Observer co-hosted a Twitter chat and invited scientists and their supporters to respond to a series of questions about federally funded science and research. Our co-host was UC’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR).

The Responses

Participants offered incredible and varied responses to the seven questions we posed. The responses cut across a range of disciplinary areas.

One of our favorite responses highlighted a key aspect of creating a science-literate nation: youth education. Fifth-generation farmer Chris Sayer (who has been profiled by UC Food Observer and has also guest blogged for us), shared this:

Many responses focused on specific impacts and results of federal funding, including new fruit varieties, healthier school lunches and improved nutrition, safer drinking water, opportunities for public participation in citizen science programs and many more.

Another key insight that was shared? Federal support for science encourages innovation that can help the environment and improve the food system…not only in California, but across the globe.


What Can You Do to Support Science?

In response to our question about what people can do to support funding for science and research, Dr. Bruce Hamilton of UC San Diego offered this key insight: Show up.

Check out #UCScienceChat to follow the conversation.


About the UC Food Observer: UC Food Observer is funded by University of California’s Global Food Initiative, which seeks to address one of the most compelling global issues: how to sustainably and nutritiously feed a growing world population.

About UC ANR: This division of UC brings practical, science-based answers to Californians. Advisors, specialists and faculty are part of their local communities and work closely with stakeholders to enhance agricultural markets, address environmental concerns, protect plant health, provide farmers with scientifically tested production techniques and support residents with increased food safety and improved nutrition. UC ANR runs popular community-based programs, including 4-H, California Naturalist and the Master Gardener and Master Food Preserver programs. Learn more here.

Learn about UC’s research partnership with the federal government here.


Have a great week!