Saturday, April 22, 2017

The March for Science: What You Need to Know


Gathering at the Washington Monument before March for Science on Saturday. Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Times

The March for Science started with a few scientists on social media who felt their community was threatened under the Trump administration. Now, thousands of people are expected to demonstrate in Washington and in smaller events around the world on Saturday, which is also Earth Day. Here’s what you should know about the event.

Why are they marching?

Scientists, science advocates and science enthusiasts say they are marching together to support, defend and celebrate the scientific enterprise. For some, it’s a way to voice their opposition to what they see as an alarming trend against evidence-based policy making in the government. For others, it’s a way to push back against cuts in President Trump’s proposed budgets for federal agencies that fund scientific research. It is also a way for some to show their appreciation for the scientists who have made important contributions to technological and medical advancements.

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Meet Three Scientists Ready to March

Shadow three scientists as they work with wolves and butterflies, DNA and tide pools before they attend one of the March for Science demonstrations around the country.
By KAITLYN MULLIN, GUGLIELMO MATTIOLI and LOGAN JAFFE on Publish Date April 22, 2017. Photo by Benjamin Norman for The New York Times. Technology by Samsung.. Watch in Times Video »

Where and when are people marching?

The March for Science’s main event will take place in Washington, but there will be more than 600 satellite events in over 60 countries. In addition to Washington, major turnouts in the United States are expected in Boston, New York, San Francisco and Denver.
Marchers in Washington will first assemble on the north side of the Washington Monument, south of Constitution Avenue NW between 15th and 17th Streets NW, for a rally. The grounds open at 8 a.m., with teach-in events taking place around the Mall beginning at 9 a.m. Speakers will take to the stage, which faces the White House, around 10 a.m.
At 2 p.m., the march begins. It will start at 15th and Constitution Avenue NW, proceeding east to Third Street NW, then south to Union Square.

Who is speaking?

The headliners include prominent scientists, science communicators and science advocates such as:
Lydia Villa-Komaroff, a molecular biologist who helped produce insulin from bacteria and a founder of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans.
• Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician whose whistle-blowing helped reveal the water crisis in Flint, Mich.
Erich Jarvis, a neurobiologist from Rockefeller University.
Cara Santa Maria, the host of “Talk Nerdy.”
Bill Nye, the Science Guy.
Co-hosting the event will be Derek Muller, the creator of the popular science YouTube channel Veritasium, and Questlove, a founding member of the band the Roots and a science enthusiast.

How can I follow the march from home?

We’ll be live-streaming the afternoon rally on The New York Times’s Science Facebook page and will provide coverage of the march using Facebook Live.

Why are some in the sciences opposed to the march?

A number of scientists worry that the march will further politicize science. Although the organizers stress that the march is nonpartisan, some scientists interpret it as a left-leaning movement that could isolate or upset conservatives and supporters of Mr. Trump and divide the public.
Others are sitting out because they think the march has not done enough to address issues of diversity, inclusion and accessibility within science. Though the organizers have put forth several statements and principles regarding diversity, some critics have said their efforts have fallen flat.

What is Earth Day?

Earth Day is a global celebration of the planet held every year on April 22. The event was first organized in 1970 as a way to bring awareness to pollution’s effects on the environment and to public health. It is now run by the Earth Day Network, which has partnered with the March for Science to promote the importance of science around the world.

What events are happening alongside the march?

The March for Science and the Earth Day Network are organizing a series of teach-ins that will be interactive science lessons for the public. They are being held in tents along the Mall from 9 a.m. until 12:20 p.m. Most of the sessions will last 50 minutes. Topics will include how to save the bees and the physics of superheros.

What happens after the march?

After Saturday’s events, organizers are promoting a “Week of Action” from April 23 to 29. Marchers are being encouraged to register to vote, sign an environmental voter pledge and participate in citizen science projects in their communities.
On Saturday, April 29, the People’s Climate March will take place in Washington and other cities.

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