Scientists and the science literate who are displeased with the Trump administration’s political outlook on scientific research have chosen April 22 — Earth Day — as the day they will march on the nation’s capital in protest.
“The March for Science is a celebration of our passion for science and a call to support and safeguard the scientific community,” the March for Science’s website says. “It is time for people who support scientific research and evidence-based policies to take a public stand and be counted.”
The date choice was announced Thursday on the group’s website and Twitter account.
— March for Science (@ScienceMarchDC) February 1, 2017
In its first week in office, the Trump administration slapped a gag order on employees within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Agriculture, disallowing the agencies or employees from posting updates on social media or speaking with members of the press. The president is also reported to have told the EPA to remove its climate change webpage — which includes information about the dangerous effects of climate change.
A Trump transition spokesman told NPR that research from the EPA may have to undergo a case-by-case political review.
“Mischaracterization of science as a partisan issue, which has given policymakers permission to reject overwhelming evidence, is a critical and urgent matter,” the science group’s website says.
Several government agencies went rogue in response to various orders, creating unofficial Twitter accounts by which they can communicate with the public. Other scientists looked for a different approach by which they could oppose the anti-science climate in Washington.
The Washington Post reported that the idea for a march began in a subreddit where scientists discussed how to respond to the administration’s rejection of climate and environmental science. They decided to seize on the momentum of the historic Women’s March.
“Recent policy changes have caused heightened worry among scientists, and the incredible and immediate outpouring of support has made clear that these concerns are also shared by hundreds of thousands of people around the world,” the group’s website says.
The group’s Twitter account has gained over 300,000 followers in under one month being activated.
Satellite marches in cities around the country are also being planned.
— March for Science (@ScienceMarchDC) January 30, 2017
By Greg Wright