Baltimore

This University President Just Smacked Down Trump In An Amazing Email

University administrators are often criticized for not speaking up about issues that their students care about. But that is certainly not the case at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).

There, university president Jay A. Perman has taken a forceful stance against President Donald Trump’s anti-science agenda.

In an email to the entire university community, Perman launched into the Trump administration’s “assault on science”.

UMB is a collection of graduate degree offering institutions including a world renowned School of Medicine.

Perman wrote the email in anticipation of the March for Science that will be taking place this weekend on April 22.

“The assault on science comes not only in the form of draconian budget cuts, but in ways meant to politicize science or intimidate those who undertake it,” Perman wrote. “The administration has issued gag orders on science agencies engaging in unsanctioned speech and sent letters to agency heads ordering that they identify scientists working on climate research. As a presidential candidate, Mr. Trump endorsed theories that have no basis in science — for instance, that vaccines are linked to autism or that climate change is a hoax.”

Maggie Davis, a law and policy analyst for the Center for Health and Homeland Security at UMB is supportive of Perman’s aggressive stance. 

I think it is an appropriate critique of budget priorities of the new administration, especially considering the hostility we have seen to researchers and scientists that work for agencies like NOAA and the EPA,” Davis said. “President Perman’s statement was clearly aimed at the policies promoted by the new administration and not President Trump as an individual, which I think is the best approach to have to build stronger support for robust funding of scientific research.” 

You really should read Perman’s entire letter. It is something else.


“To the UMB Community:

I know many of you are planning to join the hundreds of thousands of people expected to march this Saturday in Washington, D.C., to celebrate — and defend — science. I thank you for lending your voice and your advocacy to this movement because, without a doubt, science needs defending these days.

President Trump’s budget proposal cuts 31 percent from the Environmental Protection Agency, slashes the Department of Energy’s basic science research program, and zeros out a program that supports early-stage research into technologies that could reduce our national dependence on fossil fuels. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), which spends $32 billion a year on biomedical research — most of which goes to universities and medical schools across this country — would see a nearly 20 percent cut, bringing the agency’s budget to its lowest level in 15 years. By no means is it only science under attack: The president’s proposed budget eliminates the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The assault on science comes not only in the form of draconian budget cuts, but in ways meant to politicize science or intimidate those who undertake it. The administration has issued gag orders on science agencies engaging in unsanctioned speech and sent letters to agency heads ordering that they identify scientists working on climate research. As a presidential candidate, Mr. Trump endorsed theories that have no basis in science — for instance, that vaccines are linked to autism or that climate change is a hoax.

And so I stand with those who will march this weekend to defend science and the scientific method. It is the scientific method that teaches us how to ask questions, form hypotheses, and then — critically — test those hypotheses with rigorous and replicable experiments. It is this method that protects us against specious theories and unproved (and unprovable) “facts.”

As a physician, I know that it is because of science that diseases that were once widespread and incurable are now — within my own lifetime — eradicated or treatable. This is the science that some in Congress and in the White House want to cut, attempting to persuade the American people that the basic research undertaken in labs across this country doesn’t affect them. But it does, and powerfully. Every modern medical advancement that has saved patients in a physician’s care and relieved their loved ones of grief had its origins in the research lab.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, himself a physician, defended President Trump’s proposed $6 billion cut to the NIH budget by suggesting that these cuts would be carved out of the overhead costs that universities like ours incur in doing research — costs such as operating and maintaining the facilities in which the research is conducted. However, as any businessperson knows, this overhead isn’t frivolous. It’s exactly what enables our people to keep doing the research that builds the science that ultimately saves and enriches lives. And I propose that it is precisely these kinds of efforts that many Americans want their tax dollars to support.

UMB is educating the next generation of health care practitioners, scientists, researchers, and policy experts, the people who will one day solve the greatest challenges of human health and well-being. I take this responsibility to train tomorrow’s problem-solvers seriously, and I support all of you in your fight to preserve smart and humane science policy and investment.

The budget priorities of this administration do not reflect the America I know, an America strengthened by its science and scientists, by investments made in research that protects its people, advances its interests, and enlarges global cooperation. The shortsightedness we’ve seen over the last three months undoubtedly threatens science, but science will prevail. It always does.

Sincerely,

Jay A. Perman, MD
President”


 

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: University of Maryland, Baltimore/ Facebook

Looking Back At All Those “First Days Of School” And The Anxiety That Came With Them

Everyone has had some sort of “First Day of School” experience in their lifetime.

It doesn’t matter if it’s the middle school, high school, or college years; some form of anxiety kicked in when it was the final hours of the night before and you climb into bed thinking about new beginnings.

For high school kids, that anxiety isn’t focused too much on the amount of effort that you will need to front to get through a new year of school; but instead, energy is channeled into setting up that fresh outfit and brand new pair of sneakers you will rock on the first day.

I can still hear my teenage self, “I’m going to kill ‘em tomorrow with these Jay’s!”

Growing up in Baltimore, high school was a fashion and popularity contest.

Who could pimp out their school uniform the best with the hottest accessories or freshest pair of sneakers.

Who could get all the girls to wave and give hugs when you walked down the hall.

First days are all the same man. Photo Credit: tiffany terry/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Having clout in high school was just as important as it was to get good grades and graduate.

Well, maybe not that serious; but close.

Who am I kidding? For some, the school work didn’t matter at all!

I was one of those cool nerds who could balance a 3.5 GPA as well as a couple of honeys under my arms. If you read that and judged me just now, don’t hate the player, hate the game!

College is…well, college.

It’s high school but a grown-up spinoff of your favorite high school reality show.

Fashion and popularity contests still exist but aren’t the main focuses.

Graduating in a timely fashion and getting a J-O-B is what’s important.

In college, first day jitters are centered around the anxiety of getting a new chance to be a better you.

A better scholar, athlete, test taker, note taker, homework doer, studier or what have you.

A clean slate.

Frankly, it’s an opportunity to look at past mistakes, evaluate, and evolve.

After all, when you’re paying thousands of dollars to get a higher education you tend to take your studies a little bit more seriously.

For me, I am going into the second to last semester of my undergraduate career at The University of Baltimore and I am excited to get back and strive for a better GPA than the previous semester.

Of course, I’m ready to get back to campus and see friends and socialize but above all, I am anxious to get back to lectures, learn something new, and prove to myself that I can achieve the highest.

I am definitely ready to graduate and see where this road called “life” is going to take me.

From today until graduation in December, first days are no longer hurdles.

It’s all about last days.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Andrew Subiela/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Defense Rests In Trial Of Baltimore Police Officer Accused Of Killing Freddie Gray

BALTIMORE — The defense rested its case in the trial of Officer William G. Porter early Friday afternoon. Testimony resumed Friday morning with Porter’s defense calling several people who know Porter well to testify to his character, including his mother. Helena Porter, the officer’s mother, took the stand and said her son was “the peacemaker in… Read More

Hearing Begins Today For Six Officers Charged In Death Of Freddie Gray

Hearings began today in Baltimore for the six police officers charged for the arrest and death of Freddie Gray.

Gray, a 25-year-old black man, was arrested on April 12, and died one week later in police custody after suffering a fatal spinal injury.

The hearing will be the first verbal argument for a case that has spanned over five months in written motions.

Today’s arguments will focus on three motions: a call for the case to be dismissed, the state’s attorney to be recused, and whether the six officers charged will face trial together or separately.


Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., who drove the police van that Gray suffered injuries in, is charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers are charged with manslaughter: Officer William G. Porter, Sgt. Alicia D. White and Lt. Brian W. Rice. Facing lesser charges are Officers Garrett E. Miller and Edward M. Nero. All officers involved pleaded not guilty and waived their right to attend the hearing.

Attorneys representing the officers called for the dismissal of the case or the recusal of Moseby because they allege that Moseby’s office issued orders to crack down on law enforcement in the location Gray was arrested. “Mrs. Mosby herself is now an integral part of the story and as such is a central witness,” the motion reads. “In the charges relating to the initial arrest and/or detention of Mr. Gray, Mrs. Mosby herself has become essential exculpatory evidence.”

In the weeks following Gray’s death, nationwide protests occurred against police brutality and treatment of black people at the hands of the state. Protestors gathered at the steps of the courthouse in Baltimore at around 8 a.m., along with protests happening throughout cities across the country.

Twitter user @kwamerose was apparently arrested today at a Freddie Gray protest in Baltimore.

Today’s hearing will also see a call to move the hearing to a different location.

Stay with Rise News as we continue to cover this developing story. Send tips to editor@risenews.net.

Cover Photo Credit: POLICEDIVER2/Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

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