The American public, however, are clearly not having it. While there are certain demographics for whom the acceptance of scientific facts will generally remain dependent on their partisan beliefs, a vast majority of the populace know that Alternative Facts are nothing less than nonsense, that cutting scientific funding is a thoroughly bad idea, and that protecting the environment is a top priority.
Berman recognizes that, despite Trump, the entire US government hasn’t been corrupted by an anti-science poison. When asked what he’d say to them as a collective, he told us that “the government isn't a single entity. It's thousands of different employees all working on shared goals.”
He then added, quite carefully: “To most of them I'd say: ‘Thank you for the work you do. It improves our lives every day.’”
So what impact do Berman and Hari hope the marches have had?
“I hope that it’ll lead to a new generation of thousands of vocal science advocates,” Berman replied. “I hope they write op-eds and host science fairs and build ties between scientists and communities. The march is planting seeds that may not blossom for decades.”
“The march catalyzed conversations in hundreds of cities across the world,” Hari noted. “I hope that conversation continues to dinner tables, classrooms, government agencies for years to come. Because it’s in those conversations where trust in science and scientists will grow.”
The organizers appear to be placing their hope in the youngest generations. This, indubitably, is a wonderful idea; after all, children are far more aware of truth and lies than people give them credit for.
This was encapsulated most spectacularly during a recent showdown between a grade-school girl and a top-ranking GOP lawmaker, where – to rapturous applause – the former asked the latter if he believed in science after he gave a total non-answer to a question about environmental protection.
The movement doesn't aim to end here. March For Science