President Donald Trump hasn’t been kind to scientists. He has denied sound science on issues such as climate change, has frozen EPA grants, barred USDA scientists from publishing research, and taken down climate science information on the White House website. This doesn’t include what he plans to do to clean energy.
Now scientists are planning to fight back.
Scientists are organizing their own mass march on Washington in order to raise awareness on the dangers of climate change and demand President Trump respect real science, not “alternative fact.”
As Caroline Weinburg, a public health research, told the Washington Post, “We were inspired (well, infuriated) by the current attacks on science from the new administration. Slashing funding and restricting scientists from communicating their findings (from tax-funded research!) with the public is absurd and cannot be allowed to stand as policy.”
It has never been more important for scientists of all stripes to come together and have their voices heard in government.
— March for Science (@ScienceMarchDC) January 25, 2017
According to the Scientists’ March on Washington website:
“Although this will start with a march, we hope to use this as a starting point to take a stand for science in politics. Slashing funding and restricting scientists from communicating their findings (from tax-funded research!) with the public is absurd and cannot be allowed to stand as policy. This is a non-partisan issue that reaches far beyond people in the STEM fields and should concern anyone who values empirical research and science.
There are certain things that we accept as facts with no alternatives. The Earth is becoming warmer due to human action. The diversity of life arose by evolution. Politicians who devalue expertise risk making decisions that do not reflect reality and must be held accountable. An American government that ignores science to pursue ideological agendas endangers the world.
The website also states that “anyone who believes in empirical science” can participate.
A date for the march has not yet been announced.
Climate denial has been a contested subject between scientists and politicians for years. But now scientists are ready to change that. Hundreds of scientists are planning to run for office, and a new PAC has been created in order to support them.
The PAC, named 314 for the first three digits of Pi, was launched on inauguration day by Shaughnessy Naughton, a Pennsylvania small business owner and former breast cancer researcher.
Naughton told the Atlantic, “A lot of scientists traditionally feel that science is above politics but we’re seeing that politics is not above getting involved in science. We’re losing, and the only way to stop that is to get more people with scientific backgrounds at the table.”
According to the PAC website:
“314 Action is a nonprofit that was founded by members of the STEM community, grassroots supporters and political activists.
314 Action champions electing more leaders to the U.S. Senate, House, State Executive and Legislative offices who come from STEM backgrounds. We need new leaders who understand that climate change is real and are motivated to find a solution.
We need elected officials who understand that STEM education is the new path forward, vital for our future and will ensure that our educators have the necessary funding to teach STEM curricula and our students have the resources to learn. That is why 314 Action will advocate for a quality, adequately funded STEM education for every young person in the United States.”
It seems that President Trump has provided a huge wake-up call for scientists.