The March for Science is coming. And it is bigger than we think. It will take place not just in Washington DC, not just all across the nation, but around the entire planet, in more than 500 satellite marches effectively showing the world’s support for science.

Our goal, as scientists and science advocates is to make a statement, to make ourselves heard. We celebrate the scientific method and evidence-based decision making, essential to the survival and well-being of humanity and all of earth’s inhabitants. We cannot fall back to rely on alternative facts or join in the astoundingly rampant disbelief of something as critically significant (and real) as climate change. We cannot sit by and grieve as our administration cuts billions in funding for scientific research. We must demand politics keep out of the unbiased scientific process and, through our sheer numbers show our governmental leaders how vital it is to support science-based policy without hesitation or qualm, because how we approach science now will determine our future.

“We march for countless individual reasons, but gather together as the March for Science to envision and sustain an unbroken chain of inquiry, knowledge, and public benefit for all.”          March For Science

 

Obviously everything won’t change just because we got loud and waved signs with a bunch of people. This is only the beginning. “We have no intention of letting this stop after April 22,” said Dr. Caroline Weinberg, a public health researcher and co-chairwoman of the march.

Rather, this is a rally toward action. Because by gathering together we are generating a force that cannot and will not lose energy after the march has ended.  “Protest is also an opportunity to create what we call ‘collective identity,’” says Dana R. Fisher, a sociologist who studies protest movements, said in an interview. “It’s about getting sympathizers, people who agree with the cause, to be activists.”

So, when the march ends, rather than let the energy fizzle, it’s important to stay activated, even when you get back home. Carry that enthusiasm to your local legislatures, call your congressmen, hold government accountable, donate your time and money to advocacy groups that back governmental policies that take scientific and medical facts seriously into account.

“Anti-science agendas and policies have been advanced by politicians on both sides of the aisle, and they harm everyone — without exception. Science should neither serve special interests nor be rejected based on personal convictions. At its core, science is a tool for seeking answers. It can and should influence policy and guide our long-term decision-making.” ~March for Science

For professionals in the field of science, one option after the march is to go political. 314 Action is a political action committee that was created to provide support and mentorship for scientists who want to run for office. By electing Congressional representatives with a background in science, we can help ensure there to be more unbiased voices of reason in our government to take science-based evidence seriously.

So here we are, in the final countdown to the 47th celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd. And at 8am, we’ll take to the streets for a cause that’s not just our own, but Earth’s too.

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 12.34.45 PM.png For information on the DC march schedule, click here. For a satellite march near you, click here.

Speakers will present at 10am on the north side of the Washington Monument at the main stage facing the South Lawn of the White House. They include the following:

Bill Nye — As in, the science guy.

Mark Tercek – President and CEO of the Nature Conservancy

Jamie Rappaport Clark – President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, DC

Rush Holt — Former congressman and current CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Mona Hanna-Attisha — a pediatrician who played a crucial role in blowing the whistle on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan

 

 

 






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