by Olivia Samarco
If you’re frustrated with the new government administration’s stance against science and scientists and looking to voice your concerns, you’re in luck. On Earth Day, April 22nd, the March for Science will march on Washington D.C. and a sister march will also be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
For those that are unaware of why there is the need for the March for Science, the United States government has recently issued several acts that restrict scientists in a few different ways. For example there have been gag orders for science agencies, funding freezes, and reversing science based policies. Most recently, President Trump has just defunded the EPA (Environment Protection Agency) this past week. Obviously this has many scientists and members of the scientific community concerned. The march has already sparked a conversation about whether or not scientists need to involve themselves in politics or not. The march’s stance on this is: “In the face of an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery, we might ask instead: can we not afford to speak out in its defense?” The goal of the March for Science is to promote the role of science in our everyday lives and the role it should play in influencing policy and long-term evidence.
The march promotes diversity and inclusivity–the national organizers of the march believe that science should be for everyone despite the government’s best efforts to try to stop that. The organizers of the march recently released a statement on their Facebook page saying: “At the March for Science, we are committed to highlighting, standing in solidarity with, and acting as allies with black, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islander, indigenous, non-Christian, women, people with disabilities, poor, gay, lesbian, queer, trans, non-binary, agender, and intersex scientists and science advocates. We must work to make science available to everyone and encouraging individuals of all backgrounds to pursue science careers, especially in advanced degrees and positions. A diverse group of scientists produces increasingly diverse research, which broadens, strengthens, and enriches scientific inquiry, and therefore, our understanding of the world.” The march recognizes the importance of intersectionality in dealing with the current state of science in the country.
If you’re interested in attending the March for Science, again it will be taking place in both Washington D.C. and sister marches held in Pittsburgh as well as other major cities throughout the country. If you are unable to attend you can donate to the march as well. To do so, or to find out more information, you can go to http://www.marchforscience.com or you can go visit their Facebook page.