It has never been more important for scientists of all stripes to come together and have their voices heard in government.
Researchers have been getting more vocal about the value of science and evidence-based policymaking in recent months. Earth scientists took to the streets in San Francisco last December during the annual American Geophysical Union meeting. Researchers and librarians are also racing to save climate data from federal websites. And more recently, scientists flooded Twitter during Friday's inauguration with updates about how science impacts everyday people.
The March for Science represents a next step, with a groundswell of support behind it and the potential to dwarf the December San Francisco rally of a few hundred earth science researchers. While details are forthcoming, Weinberg underscored that scientists and science lovers of all disciplines and backgrounds will be welcome.
"Diversity in science, both in the researchers who participate and the topics we are focused on, is a critically neglected area," she said. "We fully intend to emphasize diversity in both the planning of and mission statement for this march."
Whatever becomes of the march, it won't be the first time scientists have turned out to protest what they view as federal policies ungrounded in science. The 2014 People's Climate March turned out an estimated 310,000 people in New York, including a large number of climate scientists.
Naomi Oreskes, a science historian at Harvard, said that looking further into the past reveals another telling example of scientists organizing.
"It is the scientists who mobilized against the arms race in the late 1950s and 1960s," she said. "So that tells you how scientists feel now. This is an existential threat."
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