Inspired by the astounding success of the Women's March last Jan.27, scientists will be taking to the streets, too, and they couldn't have picked a more significant date.
United On Earth Day For A Different Reason
The March for Science has been officially set for Saturday, April 22 at the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.
The event falls on the date of the worldwide celebration of Earth Day. The first Earth Day happened back in 1970, where 20 million Americans came to celebrate a significant moment in the environmental movement. It was also during this year when then U.S. President Richard Nixon signed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) into existence.
However, this coming Earth Day will be different. Instead of recognizing federal support, scientists will call out the current administration's untoward treatment to science, especially when it comes to climate change.
March For Science Is 'Not A Political Protest'
The idea started from a Reddit thread, where researchers expressed their concern about how the Trump administration is dealing with science and suggested doing another march, but this time for science's sake. After a week of starting a Facebook and Twitter account for the event, the March for Science Movement now has over a million supporters.
"Yes, this is a protest, but it's not a political protest," Dr. Jonathan Berman, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center and the lead organizer of the march, stressed. "The people making decisions are in Washington, and they are the people we are trying to reach with the message: You should listen to evidence."
Scientists Standing Up For Science
The March for Science is not the first form of protest from the scientific community.
The organization 500 Women Scientists is founded in response to President Trump's controversial anti-knowledge, anti-science, anti-women statements. Women scientists drafted an open letter pledging commitment to a more inclusive scientific community, with more than 14,000 signatories, from Afghanistan to Wales.
The American Astronomical Society along with 150 institutions also sent a letter to the POTUS denouncing and urging him to rescind his immigration ban targeting seven predominantly Muslim countries as well as refugees.
There's also the rise of the rogue Twitter accounts for several government agencies — including the EPA, National Park Service, and NASA — which boast of millions of followers spreading meaningful hashtags, such as #Resistance and #StandUpforScience. The Twitter takeover by the scientific community was seen as a defiance of the Trump administration's gag order on scientists and government employees, specifically on climate change.