Earth Day April 22, 2017
The March for Science is the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments.
MARCH FOR SCIENCE LOS ANGELES CELEBRATES THE CRUCIAL ROLES SCIENCE PLAYS IN DRIVING OUR ECONOMIC GROWTH, PRESERVING OUR ENVIRONMENT, AND PROTECTING THE HEALTH OF OUR CITIZENS. WE UNITE AS A DIVERSE, NONPARTISAN GROUP TO CALL FOR POLICYMAKERS TO CHAMPION AND FUND SCIENCE THAT UPHOLDS THE COMMON GOOD AND TO ADVOCATE FOR EVIDENCE-BASED POLICIES IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST AT LOCAL, STATE AND NATIONAL LEVELS.
Sean Carroll is one of the speakers for the LA event. On his blog he writes:
It would certainly be bad if scientists tarnished their reputations as unbiased researchers by explicitly aligning “science” with any individual political party. And we can’t ignore the fact that various high-profile examples of denying scientific reality — Darwinian evolution comes to mind, or more recently the fact that human activity is dramatically affecting the Earth’s climate — are, in our current climate, largely associated with one political party more than the other one. But people of all political persuasions will occasionally find scientific truths to be a bit inconvenient. And more importantly, we can march in favor of science without having to point out that one party is working much harder than the other one to undermine it. That’s a separate kind of march.
… This particular March was, without question, created in part because people were shocked into fear by the prospect of power being concentrated in the hands of a political party that seems to happily reject scientific findings that it deems inconvenient. But it grew into something bigger and better: a way to rally in support of science, full stop.
That’s something everyone should be able to get behind. It’s a mistake to think that the best way to support science is to stay out of politics. Politics is there, whether we like it or not. (And if we don’t like it, we should at least respect it — as unappetizing as the process of politics may be at times, it’s a necessary part of how we make decisions in a representative democracy, and should be honored as such.) The question isn’t “should scientists play with politics, or rise above it?” The question is “should we exert our political will in favor of science, or just let other people make the decisions and hope for the best?”
Democracy can be difficult, exhausting, and heartbreaking. It’s a messy, chaotic process, a far cry from the beautiful regularities of the natural world that science works to uncover. But participating in democracy as actively as we can is one of the most straightforward ways available to us to make the world a better place. And there aren’t many causes more worth rallying behind than that of science itself.
His essay “Marching for the Right to Be Wrong – What it means to protest in the name of science” in The Atlantic is basically the content of his speech at the LA march.