Marching for Science

Some scientists will be marching for science next month. Not all of them – physicist Sylvester James Gates, for example, does not “want to see a march that sets science against the president,” and warns that conducting a politically charged event “might send a message to the public that scientists are driven by ideology more than by evidence.” Coastal geologist Robert S. Young worries that “a march by scientists, while well intentioned, will serve only to trivialize and politicize the science we care so much about, turn scientists into another group caught up in the culture wars and further drive the wedge between scientists and a certain segment of the American electorate.” On the other hand, many scientific societies have endorsed the march.

And what will scientists be marching for? I did a quick wordcount on the @ScienceMarchDC Twitter feed (see chart below), but that does not entirely answer my question. Going by the official website, it’s partly about “recent policy changes” in the USA, which I presume (looking at the list) is a reference to US immigration policy. But more general fears about what Donald Trump might do also seem to be part of the motivation.

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