Saturday, April 22, people around the world are taking to the streets to defend science. Yes, you read that right; some people don't believe that science is real, and under our current administration, it's very much under attack. If you want to get involved, here is how to find a March for Science protest near you.
While the main March for Science event is in Washington, DC, there are more than 600 satellite marches planned around the world, you know because people are a little pissed off that science even needs defending at all.
If you want to join in, here's how you can do it in five easy steps:
- The March for Science website has an easy tool that will help you locate your nearest local march, and even show you how to attend virtually if you can't make it out to a physical location. If you enter the site via the home page just select the orange "register to attend your local march" button to be directed to the correct page.
- Next, select your state (if you're in the United States), or country to locate your local march on the interactive March for Science map.
- Once you enter your location a list of all marches near you, will aggregate below the map; for example, I entered California, and I can see that 44 marches are available in my state. Select the march you want to attend, click, and register by providing your name and email address (if you are prompted to do so) so organizers can ensure an accurate counts of participants. If the event is organized via Facebook just click "going."
- Show up, and bring a killer March for Science sign.
- Share your experience on social media using the hashtag #MarchForScience.
If you're planning to attend a March for Science event on April 22, which is also Earth Day, here's what to know before you go. Science, scientists, and evidence-based policymaking are under attack, according to the March for Science website. If you're on the fence about joining in, the March for Science blog offers tips for scientists, and others, who fear retribution for participating in the march.
If you've been following the news, then you know that the Trump administration's budget cuts, "censorship of researchers, disappearing datasets, and threats to dismantle government agencies harm us all, [are] putting our health, food, air, water, climate, and jobs at risk," as the March's website puts it.
While scientists aren't always at the forefront of political discussions, recent denial of basic scientific fact has gotten many researchers out of their lab coats, and thrust them onto a public platform to defend their work.
"The march has generated a great deal of conversation around whether or not scientists should involve themselves in politics," states the March for Science mission statement. "In the face of an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery, we might ask instead: can we afford not to speak out in its defense?"
One of the goals of the march is to encourage the public to value and invest in science, and scientists are encouraged to reach out to the communities to share the research that can have an impact on people's everyday lives.
"The best way to ensure science will influence policy is to encourage people to appreciate and engage with science," the March for Science mission statement explains. "That can only happen through education, communication, and ties of mutual respect between scientists and their communities — the paths of communication must go both ways. There has too long been a divide between the scientific community and the public."
If you've had enough of the science deniers' goat show, lend your support to the March for Science this Earth Day, because science is real, the environment needs you, and we can't drink oil if the Trump administration pollutes our water sources. Come, on, I had you as "science is real," right?