I was going to write a blog about belonging – mainly to implore you to join our member network. And as a science organization, I looked up the science of belonging. And then, down the rabbithole I went…

When you feel like you belong, you are more confident and successful. Conversely, when you don’t feel like you belong, you end up with a host of stressors, and also, impostor syndrome.

We’ve all been there. The new kid on the block, wanting desperately to fit in. Feeling small, insignificant, unnoticed. And if one person, just one, extends a hand in friendship, suddenly, you can take on the world. You can join that game of kick ball and knock the ball out of the park. But without that sense of belongness, you stay closed in your shell. You play poorly. You go home defeated.

Magnify this sense that you don’t belong, and it sounds a whole lot like the mental and physical effects of systemic racism: chronic stress, high blood pressure, poor sleep, apathy, depression.

Imagine you are constantly being chased by a bear; it’s pretty hard to live your best life.

Support networks help us thrive. Even when we complete a solo project, or give an important presentation, or paint a picture – most of us have someone standing behind us that is encouraging us and offering support, sharing a meal, being a sounding board, or just holding our hand.

We did not create the Science for Georgia Member Network so we could all have a group hug (although, in non-Covid-times, a good hug would be nice). We did create it because we understand that life is easier when you don’t have to go it alone.

Scientists and friends-of-science know that science can contribute to a thriving society and make a better tomorrow. We also know that moving outside your comfort zone and talking to the public, policymakers, the press, heck, even people down the hall from you, is hard.

Our member network is designed to provide the support and tools needed to make standing up for what is important easier. Through information, events, and outreach our member network will make Science Matter in Georgia. Right now, as we “build back” we’ve got a once-in-a-generation chance to make sure we set in motion evidence-based ideas to make the world a better place.

Joining our network means access to members-only events, discounted admission tickets, opportunities to advocate, and supporting my writing of poetry-riffs like:

I can go anywhere/ Skills to know/ And brains to grow / A reading rainbow / I can be anything / Help me to look / 15 min in a book / A reading rainbow

The facts don’t actually speak for themselves. We have to give them a voice. 

Also – go get your Covid-19 shot – so we can all go have a beer (and HUGS!)