Calling all believers in science! The next big march is being planned, this time in the name of science. Here's what you need to know.
We love science. While much of our world is precariously subjective, science grounds things in, you know, facts. Not alternative facts, not aspirational numbers, but facts arrived at through careful observation and experiment. Science is solid – and when people in positions of power start denying and silencing science to further their agenda, it’s extremely troubling.
And so as Trump’s war on science is becoming more clearly defined, scientists are starting to mobilize. As the Washington Post reports, recently a group of concerned scientists on Reddit were discussing the best way to respond to what they feared would be an administration hostile to science. Someone wrote, “There needs to be a Scientists' March on Washington.” Dozens of other agreed, and thus, the seed was planted.
One of the Redditors, University of Texas Health Science Center postdoctoral fellow Jonathan Berman, got the ball rolling. Notes the Post: "In short order, the march had a Facebook page (which has more than 48,000 members as of Wednesday morning), a Twitter handle, a website, two co-chairs, Berman and science writer and public health researcher Caroline Weinberg, and a Google form through which interested researchers could sign up to help." And note, just a few hours later and the Facebook group now has almost 200,000 members.
And the fires were further fueled with the news on Tuesday that scientists with federal research agencies were being banned from public communications.
“We were inspired (well, infuriated) by the current attacks on science from the new administration,” she told The Post in an email. “Slashing funding and restricting scientists from communicating their findings (from tax-funded research!) with the public is absurd and cannot be allowed to stand as policy.”
The organizers are trying to finalize a date now – they are aiming for March. (Gratuitous nerdy Pi joke alert: If only they could hold it on 3-14.) Everyone is encouraged to lend their voice; there is only one requirement for participation according to the march’s site: Anyone who believes in empirical science. That's it. That's the only requirement.
Personally, I can’t wait. The Women’s March was such an astounding fountain of hope during dark days; and science needs us more than ever. Plus, imagine how great scientists’ signs will be.
Here’s where to learn more: