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Scientists and supporters rally to protect scientific evidence

April 22, 2017 - UNITED STATES

The March for Science in Washington DC and other cities on Earth Day brings scientists out of their labs to express concern that the new Republican administration and Congress will be hostile to science that doesn't support the party agenda.

The Women's March on Washington on Jan 21, the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. president, inspired the science rally plan. Officially, the women rallied for women's rights, but the event unfolded as a global political protest against Trump and his intended policies.

The science march is likely to be similar: a rally for support of science that will find an outlet for protest against Trump and his plans to roll back protections for the environment and his appointment of science skeptics to key Cabinet posts.

The March for Science plan has attracted criticism, even within the science community, but also wide support: the New York Times reports that within a week of its creation, the March for Science campaign attracted more than 1.3 million supporters across Facebook and Twitter.

Nationwide, most scientists share at least two similar goals, according to the Christian Science Monitor, to preserve independent research and see objective evidence brought into policy decisions. But the march itself is a more contentious issue. Organizers say they hope to send Washington a message about the value of scientific evidence, and experts suggest that their protest may influence politicians going forward. Others caution that the protest could alienate Americans that scientists need to reach.

March for Science

Why scientists say this isn't a political protest (Christian Science Monitor 3 Feb 2017)

An Earth Day protest (Salon 2 Feb 2017)

'Listen to Evidence' (NYT 1 Feb 2017)

Will they or won't they? What science groups are saying about joining the March for Science (Science Magazine Feb 2017)

Date written/update: 2017-02-10