Is there climate change? And if so, is it caused by human activity? What is the universe made of? Where did we come from? How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? People have been asking important questions for a long time, and scientists have been knocking those questions out of the park for just as long (FYI the answer is about seven hundred pounds of wood).
Needless to say, scientists are pretty smart people. Facing “the man” and challenging tradition, they have always supported fact against opinion regardless of the consequences. Since Copernicus stood up to the Church, scientists have made it their mission in life to do what is right, to spread and share knowledge, to enlighten the people that depend on them for truth. So why stop now? A certain troll-faced man in a fancy suit may not always agree with the results, but should he halt the progression of science and learning? Many scientists are replying with an adamant “No way, Jose!”
Thus, the March for Science is born. With the primary march in Washington D.C. and more than three hundred other demonstrations planned around the world, protestors are going to make themselves heard by policymakers. It will most likely be the largest rally of nerds outside of Comic-Con in American history. They hope to avoid partisanship, so even Trump may be safe from ridicule this time around. It will simply be a gathering of scientists by scientists for science.
Ignoring powerful lobbies, rich donors, and plain partisan politics, they want people to listen. They are urging everyone, from you and me to influential lawmakers, to face data, facts, and the reality that is quickly closing in.
Although they are certainly something to keep in mind, people want to go beyond the obvious applications in defense and education, and they want to further science for the sole purpose of science. According to the March for Science website, the demonstration is “about the very real role that science plays in each of our lives and the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world.” Think about any regular morning, and consider everything you use that is the product of centuries of scientific advancement. Your refrigerator, your sink, even the screen you are reading this article on right now.
Science is not exclusive either. It is a diverse field that has grown across the world, celebrated by people of different backgrounds, faiths, races, and genders. It is not just an old white man’s job (however, old white men are surely welcome as well). Where would science be without Marie Curie? George Washington Carver? Rachel Carson?
People everywhere must resist the urge to stay quiet, sit down, and wait the next couple of years out. Check out the official website here to find a march near you and join the movement. As is commonly said, “When you stand for nothing, you fall for everything.” So I ask you: What will you stand for?