Few would disagree that this is a complex and insidious problem that needs to be directly confronted. The organizers of the March for Science, for their part, included diversity as a part of their mission statement.
This polarized opinion: Some thought it made the March less about science and more about liberal politics, whereas others pointed out that science benefits from diversity and to ignore that would be heinous.
Whatever your opinion on the matter, scientists from all backgrounds and demographics ultimately joined the march. Importantly, LGBTQ+ groups, students, political activists, and feminists were also present.
“Science needs to be more diverse and represent more viewpoints,” Berman emphasized. “We built an organization whose leadership is mostly women, and people of color, and we made sure that the speaker lineup was diverse and spoke about diversity.”
“We had nearly 10,000 people in communities across the world participate in planning, facilitating, and executing these marches,” Hari told us. “Those people came from numerous different backgrounds and are set to push march's principles forward for years to come.”
Regardless of their backgrounds, all those on the March were united by two general threads of thought: Science is wonderful and should be promoted and protected, and politicians must stop twisting reality for their own nefarious purposes.
Some researchers were concerned that the events were politicizing science and that science itself should remain non-partisan. They would tend to agree with the initial part of the March for Science mission statement, which explains that the group “champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity.”
However, the National Committee also points out that in the age of Alternative Facts and massive reductions in research funding, proponents of science can no longer stand by as passive observers.
“In the face of an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery,” the statement adds, “we might ask: can we afford not to speak out in its defense?”
Why people marched. CNN via YouTube
There’s no doubt that the threat to science in the US is particularly potent right now. We at IFLScience, and plenty of other media outlets, have comprehensively reported on the anti-scientific rhetoric of the Trump administration and many members of Congress.
The outbursts are equal parts bemusing, amusing, ludicrous, ignorant, and outrageous, from the State Senator that explained how human body heat is causing climate change to the president’s curious pet theory that suggests that wind is very deceitful.
As has been made clear by Trump’s executive orders and budget proposals, however, the forces of anti-intellectualism aren’t all talk. Significant climate change mitigation measures are being rolled back, federal scientists are being muzzled, and research funding is being cut to historically low levels.