The future of the internet as we know it changed last week. As expected, the FCC voted along party lines to repeal Obama-era Net Neutrality laws. The laws were initially put in place to protect the web from becoming a place dominated by just a few corporations who could afford to pay for special privileges. Now, that idea seems to be headed out the window. Along with it will go other parts of society that don't necessarily seem to be directly linked to the core equality legislation of the internet. One of those areas is the field of science.

Science will suffer

The repeal of net neutrality laws will destroy the equality of access people once had to the internet. Companies will likely be forced to institute fees for users to access their websites. In turn, fewer and fewer people will be able to afford using those websites. At a bare minimum, enterprising members of the science community may not be able to share or conduct valuable research, in the same manner, they're able to now.

The repeal goes beyond that.

With the FCC in charge of the repeal, there is now concern about censorship on the internet. The current administration clearly has issues with certain topics judging by the latest mandate they sent the CDC, encouraging them to eliminate words like "transgender" and "science-based" from their vocabulary. Their ability to control the types of content people see could be one of the lasting legacies of the net neutrality appeal, especially when it comes to the battle against science.

Doctoral student Greg Blumberg brought up another issue while discussing net neutrality with Forbes. He posited that it would be harder for people to get accurate weather warnings, potentially leaving people susceptible to the dangerous elements.

Science is often thought about in abstract terms, with visuals of laboratories and experiments coming to mind. Weather reports are a very practical application of science. Losing fair or timely weather warnings could spell disaster.

Fighting for net neutrality

The FCC made their ruling, but the furor over the decision continues, as does the fight for net neutrality. Some politicians have argued that the repeal should be put up for a vote in Congress under the guise of the Congressional Review Act. Several states have already volunteered lawsuits to combat the decision. The groundswell opposition is still forming around the country.

The fight to save net neutrality - and science - rages on.