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The March for Science (formerly known as the Scientists' March on Washington)[5] was a series of rallies and marches held in Washington, D.C., and more than 600 other cities across the world on Earth Day, April 22, 2017.[6][7][8][9][10] According to organizers, the march is a non-partisan movement to celebrate science and the role it plays in everyday lives.[11] The goals of the marches and rallies were to emphasize that science upholds the common good and to call for evidence-based policy in the public's best interest.[10][12] The March for Science organizers, using crowd science techniques, estimated global attendance at 1.07 million, with 100,000 participants estimated for the main March in Washington, D.C., 70,000 in Boston, 60,000 in Chicago, and 50,000 each in Los Angeles and San Francisco. [13]

March for Science
Part of Protests against Donald Trump
March for Science.png
Date April 22, 2017
Location Worldwide
Caused by Donald Trump administration's views on climate change and science
The misrepresentation and exclusion of scientific knowledge in policy decisions
Methods Protest march
Lead figures
Co-chairs
  • Caroline Weinberg[1]
  • Valorie Aquino
  • Jonathan Berman[2]
Number

Hundreds of thousands[4]

(Global)
www.marchforscience.com

The March for Science organizers and supporters say that support for science should be nonpartisan.[14][15][16] The march is being organized by scientists[1] skeptical of the agenda of the Trump administration,[15] and critical of Trump administration policies widely viewed as hostile to science.[17] The march's website states that an "American government that ignores science to pursue ideological agendas endangers the world."[14][15]

Particular issues of science policy raised by the marchers include support for evidence-based policymaking,[17] as well as support for government funding for scientific research, government transparency, and government acceptance of the scientific consensus on climate change and evolution.[14][15] The march is part of growing political activity by American scientists in the wake of the November 2016 elections and the 2017 Women's March.[17][16][18]

Robert N. Proctor, a historian of science at Stanford University, stated that the March for Science was "pretty unprecedented in terms of the scale and breadth of the scientific community that's involved" and was rooted in "a broader perception of a massive attack on sacred notions of truth that are sacred to the scientific community."[19]

Contents

BackgroundEdit

Donald TrumpEdit

In 2012, Donald Trump referred to climate change as a hoax.[20] As a presidential candidate,[21] he promised to resume construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline and roll back U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations adopted by the Obama administration.[22]

After Trump's election, his transition team sought out specific U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) employees who had worked on climate change during the Obama administration.[23] Prior to Trump's inauguration, many climate scientists began downloading climate data from government websites that they feared might be deleted by the Trump administration.[24] Other actions taken or promised by the Trump administration inspired the march, including pulling out of the Paris Agreement,[25] the stances of his Cabinet nominees, the freezing of research grants,[26] and a gag order placed on scientists in the EPA regarding dissemination of their research findings.[2][27][28] In February 2017, William Happer, a possible Trump science advisor with skeptical views on human caused global warming, described an area of climate science as "really more like a cult" and its practitioners "glassy-eyed".[29] ScienceInsider reported Trump's first budget request as "A grim budget day for U.S. science" because it contained major funding cuts to NOAA's research and satellite programs, the EPA's Office of Research and Development, the DOE's Office of Science and energy programs, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Institutes of Health, and other science agencies.[30]

International solidarityEdit

International sister marches were planned for countries around the world. These both supported American scientists and climate scientists more generally, and protested against other impingements on academic freedom internationally, such as government action against the Central European University in Hungary and the closure of educational institutes and dismissal of academics in the 2016–17 Turkish purges, as well as local issues.[31]

Planning and participantsEdit

"There needs to be a Scientists' March on Washington."
-Beaverteeth92's original proposal on Reddit[32]

A major source of inspiration behind the planning of the march was the 2017 Women's March of January 21, 2017.[33] The specific idea to create a march originated from a Reddit discussion thread about the removal of references to climate change from the White House website.[2][34] In the discussion, an anonymous poster named "Beaverteeth92" made a comment regarding the need for a "Scientist's March on Washington".[35] Dozens of Reddit users responded positively to the proposal.[35] Jonathan Berman, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center and a participant in the original conversation, created a Facebook page, Twitter feed and website to organize a march.[2][35] The Facebook group grew from 200 members to 300,000 in less than a week,[36][2] growing to 800,000 members.[37] Individual scientists have both applauded and criticized this development.[38]

 
Bill Nye, honorary co-chair

It was announced on March 30 that Bill Nye, Mona Hanna-Attisha, and Lydia Villa-Komaroff would headline the march, and serve as honorary co-chairs.[3] The protest was set to occur on Earth Day,[39] with satellite rallies planned in hundreds of cities across the world.[8]

During the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the largest scientific organization in the US, scientists held the "Rally to Stand Up for Science" at Copley Square, Boston, on February 19.[40][41] The same month, the AAAS announced its support for the march.[3][42] By mid-March, some 100 science organizations endorsed the March for Science, including many scientific societies. Endorsers of the march included the American Geophysical Union, American Association of Geographers, American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Society for Neuroscience, Society for Freshwater Science, American Statistical Association, Association for Psychological Science, American Sociological Association, Electrochemical Society, Entomological Society of America, California Academy of Sciences, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.[43]

The University of Delaware Center for Political Communication conducted a survey of 1,040 members of March for Science Facebook groups or pages from March 31 to April 18 to study their motivations for joining the march.[44] Respondents cited the following as reasons for marching:[44]

Reason[44] Percent rating
"very important"[44]
Encouraging public officials to make policies based on scientific facts and evidence 97%
Opposing political attacks on the integrity of science 93%
Encouraging the public to support science 93%
Protesting cuts to funding for scientific research 90%
Celebrating the value of science and scientists to society 89%
Promoting science education and scientific literacy among the public 86%
Encouraging scientists to engage the public 70%
Encouraging diversity and inclusion in science 68%
To become more involved in politics or policy-making 45%

Before April, enthusiasts found existing knitting patterns for a hat shaped like a brain and proposed it as a symbol of solidarity for the march in analogy with the pussyhat project.[45]

ParticipationEdit

 
Protestors march towards the Capitol Building

The primary march in Washington, D.C. began at 10 AM with a rally and teach-in on the grounds of the Washington Monument, featuring speeches by concerned citizens alternating with scientists and engineers; including Denis Hayes, co-founder of the first Earth Day in 1970 and Bill Nye.[46] No politicians spoke at the rally.[46] At 2 PM the crowd of thousands, in spite of the steady rain throughout the day, proceeded down Constitution Avenue to 3rd Street, NW between the National Mall and the west front of the United States Capitol.[47][46]

Protesters gathered in over a hundred cities across the globe, with an estimated 70,000 participants in Boston, MA, and over 150,000 in several cities in California.

ReceptionEdit

Professor Robert Proctor of Stanford University said that the March for Science was similar to other efforts by scientists such as Physicians for Social Responsibility; however, the scale was larger because "there's a broader perception of a massive attack on sacred notions of truth that are sacred to the scientific community."[48]

 
Organizers and some participants of the El Paso March for Science, April 22, 2017

SupportEdit

On January 26, 2017, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont expressed his support for the march, congratulating "those scientists and researchers who are fighting back".[49] U.S. Representative Bill Foster of Illinois, a physicist and the only current member of Congress with a Ph.D. in a natural sciences field, will join the march, "not as a Democratic member of Congress, but as a scientist."[50] Foster said that he viewed the march as political, but not partisan, saying, "if you see a specific policy that is inconsistent with the known principles of science, every citizen who is also a scientist should speak out."[50]

In February the AAAS and other science groups announced their support for the march.[3] Rush Holt Jr., the chief executive officer of the AAAS, expressed support for scientist involvement in politics.[42]

CriticismEdit

A number of scientists voiced concerns over the march. Sylvester James Gates warned that "such a politically charged event might send a message to the public that scientists are driven by ideology more than by evidence".[51] Climate change denier William Happer[52] stated that "there's no reason to assume the president is against science" while regarding the march.[51] Writing in the New York Times, Robert S. Young argued that the march will "reinforce the narrative from skeptical conservatives that scientists are an interest group and politicize their data, research and findings for their own ends" and that it would be better for scientists to "march into local civic groups, churches, county fairs and, privately, into the offices of elected officials."[53]

Responding to criticism surrounding the political nature of the march, meteorologist and columnist Eric Holthaus wrote that the scientific field "has always been political" and referred to the example of Galileo Galilei's confrontation with the political order. Holthaus wrote that the scientists must also protest when "truth itself is being called into question".[54]

San Francisco Lead Organizer Kristen Ratan debated Jerry Coyne on KQED's Forum[55][56] regarding his criticism of the March and remarked that the millennial generation is just finding its feet with regard to activism and should be encouraged. Ratan also distinguished between being political and being partisan and suggested that while the March for Science is a political act, it is by no means partisan, which implies blind allegiance to one party over another. Ratan reiterated that the March For Science supports evidence-based policy-making regardless of party or affiliation.

Follow-upEdit

Following the march, the organizers of the March for Science encouraged people to a "Week of Action" with an outline of daily actions.[57]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b VOA News (April 18, 2017). "Scientists Speak Out and March for Science". Voice of America. Retrieved April 24, 2017 – via YouTube. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Kaplan, Sarah (January 25, 2017). "Are scientists going to march on Washington?". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 25, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d Sarah Kaplan, Bill Nye will join the March for Science, Washington Post (March 30, 2017).
  4. ^ Milman, Oliver (April 22, 2017). "March for Science puts Earth Day focus on global opposition to Trump". theguardian.com. Retrieved April 22, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Scientists to oppose Donald Trump in huge 'March for Science' in Washington". The Independent. January 26, 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2017. 
  6. ^ St. Fleur, Nicholas (April 22, 2017). "Scientists, Feeling Under Siege, March Against Trump Policies". New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2017. 
  7. ^ Staff (April 22, 2017). "Pictures From the March for Science". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b "The marches for science, on one global interactive map". February 7, 2017. Retrieved February 20, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Satellite Marches". April 13, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2017. 
  10. ^ a b "Is the March for Science Bad for Scientists?". March 1, 2017. Retrieved March 6, 2017. 
  11. ^ "March For Science Mission and vision". March 6, 2017. Retrieved March 6, 2017. 
  12. ^ "What Exactly Are People Marching for When They March for Science?". March 7, 2017. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  13. ^ "The Science Behind the March for Science Crowd Estimates". May 15, 2017. Retrieved May 23, 2017. 
  14. ^ a b c Ahuja, Masuma. "Scientists planning their own march in Washington". CNN. Retrieved January 31, 2017. 
  15. ^ a b c d Sean Rossman. "First women, now scientists to march on Washington". USA Today. Retrieved January 31, 2017. 
  16. ^ a b Adam Frank (February 12, 2017). "Why I'd Rather Not March". Retrieved March 6, 2017. 
  17. ^ a b c Brian Kahn. "Scientists Are Planning the Next Big Washington March". Climate Central (republished by Scientific American). Retrieved January 31, 2017. 
  18. ^ Amy Harmon and Henry Fountain (February 6, 2017), "In Age of Trump, Scientists Show Signs of a Political Pulse", The New York Times 
  19. ^ Chris Mooney, Historians say the March for Science is 'pretty unprecedented', Washington Post (April 22, 2017).
  20. ^ Alcorn, Chauncey (April 19, 2017). "March for Science DC: What to know about the April 2017 march on Washington". Mic. Retrieved April 26, 2017. 
  21. ^ Lucky Tran and the March for Science on YouTube published on Apr 21, 2017 The National - CBC
  22. ^ Parker, Ashley; Davenport, Coral (May 26, 2016). "Donald Trump's Energy Plan: More Fossil Fuels and Fewer Rules". The New York Times. Retrieved February 21, 2017. 
  23. ^ "Trump transition team for Energy Department seeks names of employees involved in climate meetings". Washington Post. Retrieved February 20, 2017. 
  24. ^ "Scientists are frantically copying U.S. climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump". Washington Post. Retrieved February 20, 2017. 
  25. ^ Netburn, Deborah (February 9, 2017). "Science entering a new frontier: Politics". Los Angeles Times. 
  26. ^ Kahn, Brian (January 26, 2017). "Scientists Are Planning the Next Big Washington March: In just two days, more than 300,000 people join a Facebook planning group". Scientific American. Retrieved January 26, 2017. 
  27. ^ Firozi, Paulina (January 25, 2017). "Scientists are planning their own march on Washington". The Hill. Retrieved January 25, 2017. 
  28. ^ Grush, Loren (January 25, 2017). "Scientists plan to march on Washington and run for office to fight Trump". The Verge. Retrieved January 25, 2017. 
  29. ^ Hannah Devlin (February 15, 2017). "Trump's likely science adviser calls climate scientists 'glassy-eyed cult'". The Guardian. Retrieved February 20, 2017 – via The Guardian. 
  30. ^ "A grim budget day for U.S. science: analysis and reaction to Trump's plan". Science. AAAS. March 16, 2017. 
  31. ^ "Marchers around the world tell us why they're taking to the streets for science". Science. 13 April 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  32. ^ "All References to Climate Change Have Been Deleted From the White House Website • r/politics". reddit.com. Retrieved April 24, 2017. 
  33. ^ Science Magazine (April 12, 2017). "Behind the scenes at the March for Science". Retrieved April 24, 2017 – via YouTube. 
  34. ^ "On eve of science march, planners look ahead". sciencemag.org. April 11, 2017. Retrieved April 24, 2017. 
  35. ^ a b c Ben Guarino, The March for Science began with this person's 'throwaway line' on Reddit, Washington Post, (21 April 2017)
  36. ^ "Scientists' March On Washington Being Planned". Forbes. January 26, 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2017. 
  37. ^ Scientific American's editors (May 2017). "To Change Politics, Do More Than March for Science; To fight antiresearch policies, scientists must become activists for the long haul". ScientificAmerican.com. Scientific American. Retrieved April 27, 2017. The protests, planned for Washington, D.C., and other cities around the U.S. and the globe, quickly gathered support from major scientific societies, tens of thousands of volunteers, hordes of Twitter supporters and 800,000 members in a Facebook group 
  38. ^ Azeen Ghorayshi (February 4, 2017), Scientists Are Arguing About Whether The March For Science Will Be Too Political, BuzzFeed, a heated argument has broken out about whether the march is making science too political — or whether it's not making science political enough 
  39. ^ Kahn, Brian (February 3, 2017). "March for Science Set for Earth Day". Scientific American. 
  40. ^ "Scientists hold rally in Boston to protest threat to science". ABC News. Retrieved February 22, 2017. 
  41. ^ "Scientists feel compelled to speak out on Trump". Boston Globe. February 18, 2017. 
  42. ^ a b Ghosh, Pallab (February 20, 2017). "AAAS chief puts weight behind protest march". BBC News. 
  43. ^ Wessel, Lindzi (March 15, 2017), "Updated: Some 100 groups have now endorsed the March for Science", Science, doi:10.1126/science.aal0697 
  44. ^ a b c d Peter Bothum, March Participants Interested in Both Promoting, Defending Science, University of Delaware News Office (April 21, 2017).
  45. ^ Preston, Elizabeth (April 11, 2017). "The March for Science searches for its pussyhat". Racked. Retrieved April 22, 2017. 
  46. ^ a b c Joel Achenbach; Ben Guarino; Sarah Kaplan (April 22, 2017). "Why people are marching for science: ‘There is no Planet B’". The Washington Post. Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  47. ^ Nicholas St. Fleur (April 22, 2017). "Scientists, Feeling Under Siege, March Against Trump Policies". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  48. ^ "Historians say the March for Science is 'pretty unprecedented'". idahostatesman. Retrieved April 22, 2017. 
  49. ^ Firozi, Paulina (January 27, 2017). "Sanders applauds scientists 'fighting back' with planned DC march". The Hill. Retrieved February 20, 2017. 
  50. ^ a b Lev Gacher, Congress's one PhD-trained scientist will join march on Washington, Stat (April 5, 2017).
  51. ^ a b Flam, Faye (March 7, 2017). "Why Some Scientists Won't March for Science". Bloomberg View. Retrieved March 8, 2017. 
  52. ^ Hannah Devlin, Trump's likely science adviser calls climate scientists 'glassy-eyed cult', The Guardian, February 15, 2017.
  53. ^ Young, Robert S. (January 31, 2017). "A Scientists' March on Washington Is a Bad Idea". The New York Times. Retrieved March 8, 2017. 
  54. ^ Holthaus, Eric (February 1, 2017). "The March for Science Isn't 'Political'—It's a Defense of Basic Truth". Pacific Standard. Retrieved March 9, 2017. 
  55. ^ "Scientists Across the Nation Trade in Lab Coats for Protest Signs". kqed.org. Retrieved April 25, 2017. 
  56. ^ https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.kqed.org/.stream/mp3splice/radio//2017/04/Forum20170422a.mp3
  57. ^ "'I Marched For Science' - Introducing A Week of Action". March for Science. Retrieved April 24, 2017. 

External linksEdit