With the Women’s March on Washington an unmitigated success, scientists are preparing their own demonstration at the nation’s capital. It began, as many of these things do, with a stray comment. “There needs to be a Scientists’ March on Washington,” someone wrote on Reddit, where several scientists discussed their concerns over what they perceived to be the Trump administration’s antipathy, if not outright hostility, to climate science and other environmental issues. Dozens chimed in with their approval. ”Please arrange this. it won’t change trump-mans [sic] [mind, but by all that is sacred, it needs to be done,” one participant said. “100%!” another declared enthusiastically.
It was enough to get Jonathan Berman, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio to start beating the drum. Caroline Weinberg, a science writer and public health researcher who is chairing the march with Berman, told the Washington Post that news about gag orders on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture “lit a fire under us.”
“We were inspired—well, infuriated—by the current attacks on science from the new administration,” she said. “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.”
Although the march is in its early days, it has already mobilized website, a Facebook group, and a Twitter account, plus a Google form soliciting volunteers. The group said it will announce a date for the march sometime next week.
You don’t have to be a scientist to march, however. According to the group’s website, anyone who “believes in empirical science” is welcome to take part. “That’s it,” it added unequivocally. “That’s the only requirement.”
Via the Washington Post