Friday, May 19, 2017

Rescheduled nonpartisan scientist walk and talk at Herman C. Michael Park June 3


Back in April we had to postpone the “Walk and Talk with a Scientist” event because of threatening weather. Even though I tried to get the word out that we had to cancel, earnest scientists and members of the public popped up like mushrooms! We ended up having some wonderful conversations while walking in the drizzling rain and gathered under the pavilion. See a photo below of some of the people who came . One young person who attended was a student from North Oconee High. I hope students interested in STEM careers and interested in the world around them will join us — and you folks, too! I’ve invited our county commissioners and other elected officials such as Jody Hice. 

We will need to be nonpartisan at the event to protect scientists, all of whom must set politics aside as they do the rigorous work of science.

Please help me get the word out to scientists and the public.  Here’s the press release below for this free, drop-in event.

And note the event link near the bottom; that’s a convenient way to invite people.

Thank you!
Pat Priest



Walk and Talk with a Scientist now scheduled for Saturday morning, June 3rd

Walk and Talk with a Scientist
Saturday, June 3rd
9 - 11 AM
Herman C. Michael Park
1051 Elder Road (just off Highway 53) 
Free and open to the public
For more information: Patricia J. Priest
(H) (706) 353-8310


Scientists and their supporters around the country marched last month to underscore the importance of science to the country’s — and our planet’s — future.

Those events inspired a local response called “Walk and Talk with a Scientist” that has been designed to provide the public with a chance to chat with scientists about their vital work.

This free, drop-in event will take place Saturday morning, June 3rd, from 9 to 11 AM at Herman C. Michael Park (1051 Elder Road) just off Highway 53 in Oconee County. The park, not far from Athens, has a trail that loops around a pond that often has turtles sunning on logs. The path is good for baby strollers, wheelchairs, and walkers.

The public can drop in anytime during the 2-hour time span to stroll with a scientist along the trail, which is about a third of a mile. People can pair up with a new researcher at roughly the halfway point, continue a conversation, or walk additional laps to talk to others. Attendees can also simply chat in the covered pavilion, the fallback in case of rain.

Among the scientists attending are a chiggers expert, botanists and geologists, a specialist in endangered species listings, a veterinary pathologist, a chemist who specializes in farm run-off, physicians, and a growing list of others signing on to attend.

Elected officials have been invited, and local high school students are also encouraged to attend.

An earlier scheduled event had to be postponed because of threatening weather. Several people arrived despite the rain and ended up holding conversations about the harm to shellfish from agricultural run-off, the promise of exciting new developments in pharmacological testing, and the risks of technological backwardness and high-tech industries moving to other scientifically advanced countries when funding for science is cut back. Here’s a photo of some of the people walking despite the rain:

The Oconee Democrats have organized the event. Angie Eells, chair of the Oconee Democrats, said, "Wonder and truth-seeking are invaluable to the human experience, and we are grateful to the scientists who work diligently to provide us with research-based information. As Bill Nye says, 'Science is the key to our future, and if you don't believe in science then you are holding everybody back.’” 

Another Oconee Democrat, Pat Priest, has spearheaded the planning. She said, “We want to show our support for scientists while learning about promising new developments that might eradicate diseases, save imperiled species, propel us into space, stave off the worst of global climate change and so much more. And besides — the world of science is so often fascinating, expanding our thinking and imagination!"

While the Oconee Democrats have organized the event, it will be — like science itself — otherwise fully nonpartisan. Fruit, juice and tea will be served.

Members of the public, elected officials, and area scientists are encouraged to attend this free, public celebration of science.

Here is the event page link:


For more information:

Patricia J. Priest, Ph.D.

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