I hope lots of people will join in the March for Science. There are hundreds of them being held around the world. There are ten events being held in Australia, and more than 500 others elsewhere. I'll be going to the rally and march in Melbourne.
I don't think I need to say much about why science is important. We wouldn't all be here without it. Some of our elected and/or appointed leaders and many voters are wanting to dumb down society, which would be a steep and slippery slope to the end of civilisation. I do know some scientists have mixed feelings about attending the rallies. Some have strong feelings about it, too, and either are or aren't going because of their strong feelings. Some people might be having trouble thinking it through:
If you're not a scientist and care about science, and care about facts, and value knowledge and its creation, then this is your chance to get policy makers and lobbyists thinking about it too. It's also your chance to let scientists know that you value the work they do.
If you are a scientist, there's a chance demos and marches and rallies aren't your thing. You might shy away from them, or you're above all that, or you've grown out of it. But think about this - this is your chance to see that the general public values the work you do. This is your chance to let the world know that you, too, know that your work is important - nay, it's more than that, your work is essential. It's not every day that there are 518 marches being held all around the world for your profession (or any profession or trade such as bloggers, management consultants, hairdressers, engineers, cleaners, or mechanics). Even if you don't attend, that thought should give you a warm glow :)
The mission is on the main March for Science website (which has a lot more words than this). It's a bit waffly, but you should get the drift:
The March for Science champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.
On the site for the Melbourne march, the message is clearer:
SCIENCE, NOT SILENCE
The March for Science celebrates the public discovery, distribution, and understanding of scientific knowledge as crucial to the freedom, success, health, and safety of life on this planet.
We are a nonpartisan group, marching to demand action in the following areas: Literacy, Communication, Policy, and Investment.
[Incidentally, I'm not normally a rally-attendee. I've only been to one since uni days (Vietnam moratorium etc). That one was to protest the war we sent people to wage, under false pretences.]
Links to get you thinking and get you marching
March for Science, Earth Day, Saturday 22 April 2017 - where you can look up the march or rally for science that's closest to you.
March for Science - Melbourne - the main website for Melbourne Australia, with a rather long pdf file to download.
Earth Day And The March For Science - article by Adam Frank at NPR, 18 April 2017
Peter Doherty: why Australia needs to march for science - speech to be given by Peter C. Doherty, from The Conversation, 21 April 2017
Why non-scientists need to join the March for Science - article by Jocelyn Prasad in the Sydney Morning Herald, 19 April 2017
Can March for Science Participants Advocate Without Losing the Public’s Trust? - article by Emily Vraga, George Mason University at MarCommunique, 20 April 2017
How a Scientist Who Studies Marches Sees the March for Science - article by Ed Yong at the Atlantic, 19 April 2017
Getting Scientists out of the Lab and Into the Street Is Harder Than It Sounds - article by Rebecca Leber at Mother Jones, 20 April 2017 (background to the March for Science)