Salem March For Science / Earth Day 2017
The March for Science champions publicly 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.
The March for Science is a celebration of science. It’s not about scientists or politicians, it is about the very real role that science plays in each of our lives and the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world. Nevertheless, the march has generated a great deal of conversation around whether or not scientists should involve themselves in politics. In the face of an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery, we might ask instead: can we afford not to speak out in its defense?
Scientists and supporters of science have remained silent for far too long in the face of policies that ignore scientific evidence and endanger both human life and the future of our world. New policies threaten to further restrict scientists’ ability to research and communicate their findings. We face a possible future where people not only ignore scientific evidence, but seek to eliminate it entirely. Staying silent is a luxury we can no longer afford. We must stand together and support science.
The application of science to policy is not a partisan issue. Anti-science agendas and policies have been advanced by politicians on both sides of the aisle, and they harm everyone — without exception. Science should neither serve special interests nor be rejected based on personal convictions. At its core, science is a tool for seeking answers. It can and should influence policy and guide our long-term decision-making.
The March for Science champions and celebrates science, but it is a small step in the process towards encouraging the application of science in policy. We understand that the most effective way to protect science is to encourage the public to value and invest in it. This can only be achieved through science education and outreach.
The best way to ensure science will influence policy is to encourage people to appreciate and engage with science. That can only happen through education, communication, and ties of mutual respect between scientists and their communities. There has too long been a divide between the scientific community and the public. We encourage scientists to reach out to their communities, sharing their research and its impact on people’s everyday lives. We must take science out of the labs and journals and share it with the world.