Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Meet Jane, a climate scientist who fled Trump’s government

The day after President Donald Trump’s unexpected victory, Jane Zelikova was “crying her eyes out” in her office at the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. As a scientist researching how big fossil-fuel industries can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, she feared that her work would be stymied because of the new president’s skepticism about climate change. As a Jewish refugee who came to the United States as a teen, she felt threatened by Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric during the campaign. The election also created a rift in her family: Her father voted for Trump; her mother sat out the election. “Every part of me that I identify with felt fear and anger combined into outrage,” Zelikova said. 
Representatives of a new activist group, created
 after President Donald Trump’s election,
participate in the March for Science in Washington, D.C.,
on Earth Day. The group, 500 Women Scientists,
co-founded by Jane Zelikova (blue scarf in the center)
has gathered nearly 20,000 signatures
 from women
 scientists, calling for scientific integrity in government
 policy as well as inclusivity and diversity in science.
She texted furiously with three close friends — other women scientists she had known since they went to graduate school at the University of Colorado, Boulder. At first, they simply shared their alarm. But by the second day, they wondered what they could do about it.  “We moved into an email thread and added women scientists we knew,” Zelikova recalled. “It grew very quickly — from five people to 20 to 50 to 100 — within a matter of a couple of days.”


Read Elizabeth Shogren’s story on High Country News - “Meet Jane, a climate scientist who fled Trump’s government.”

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