Most of us knew on November 9th that so many of the issues that we cared about were going to be dramatically impacted by the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. We were frightened on so many levels. Some for their families and friends because of the color of their skin, their gender identity, their sexual orientation or their legal status.
Those of us who knowingly didn’t vote for Trump were also worried about our planet, our environment, specifically about climate change. Jane Zelikova was one of those people. She was also a scientist at the Department of Energy working on a fellowship.
Zelikova is a young Jewish, immigrant female scientist and she knew that life under Trump was not going to be the same. Elizabeth Shogren writes, “For weeks after the election, Zelikova barely slept, working late into the night on her new group.”
“I am a Jewish, refugee, immigrant, woman scientist. At some level, this felt really personally offensive to me, and like an attack on all the parts of me that make me a complete human,” Zelikova recalled.
A need to do something, to find a way to speak out, caused her to reach out to other women friends and colleagues — all scientists. What started as a handful of concerned women led to the formation of 500 Women Scientists. Here is the letter they sent to President Trump on January 2017.