When I first posted mention of the March for Science a couple of months ago both the date and the concept seemed remote. In recent weeks we have all learned more than we want to know about the horrendous cuts to federal funding for science – everything from EPA to NIH to NOAA and more (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/16/climate/trump-budget-science-research.html?_r=0)
As a community and as a nation we experience the imperative to resist in a public way, to speak out, to stand up – and to march – essentially to remind ourselves and our nation that science matters. On Saturday, April 22, Earth Day 2017, thousands of Americans will gather in Washington, DC for a march not unlike the Women’s March in January – only warmer.
As with the Women’s March there will be satellite marches throughout the nation. In Minnesota, a coalition of individuals from all walks of life will gather to march to the State Capitol. Promoters of the Minnesota March say that these teachers, researchers, librarians, students, nonprofits, labor unions and faith groups share a common mission to (in the words of my high school teacher) “combat ignorance.”
The March will start at Cathedral Hill Park at 11:AM ( https://goo.gl/maps/dRjQxoPqS6Q2) with a Noon rally at the State Capitol. Marchers are encouraged to wear blue and green. (Unlike the Women’s March, parkas, thermal underwear and boots are optional)
Learn much more here: http://www.MarchForScienceMN.com/march
Minnesotans have a unique opportunity to learn and think about the mission of the March through a series sponsored by the East Side Freedom Library in St. Paul. All are welcome to participate in the April 8 Solidarity Saturday: Science, Not Silence discussions: http://eastsidefreedomlibrary.org/event/solidarity-saturdays-science-not-silence/
The web offers a wealth of information about the March – background, mission, examples of proposed and current budget cuts, and why science matters more than ever.
One source of particular relevance is PLOS, a “peer-reviewed open access scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science. It’s a great – and accessible – update on what’s happening in the world of science. A recent op-ed by PLOS co-founder Harold Varmus, explores “why Trump’s NIH cuts should worry us,” Another PLOS post by Judith Reichel speaks to the relevance of the March, “Standing up for science – Now more than ever.” More about PLOS here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PLOS_ONE
Among other resources I enjoyed are book reviews of a current popular read entitled “Rigor Mortis: How sloppy science creates worthless cures, crushes hope, and wastes billions. Though I have yet to read the book, the reviews motivate me to dip into what seems to be accessible to this lowly liberal arts major who knows little but cares mightily about the ongoing attacks on science.
Planners provide many options for keeping abreast of and engaged in plans for the Minnesota March for Science:
- UPDATE: More re ESFL Solidarity Saturdays https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15b3ff470fea2f6cprojector=1
- UPDATE: Public confidence in scientists: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/06/public-confidence-in-scientists-has-remained-stable-for-decades/?utm_source=Pew+Research+Center&utm_campaign=2f406df119-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_04_05&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3e953b9b70-2f406df119-400032909
- UPDATE 4/9 – Post event rally http://www.marchforsciencemn.com/march/
- UPDATE 4/14 – http://www.govtech.com/data/What-Losing-Access-to-Federal-Data-Could-Mean-for-Researchers-and-Advocates.html
- UPDATE 4/14 https://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2017/04/minnesota-s-researchers-have-been-dealing-dwindling-federal-funding-years-no?utm_source=MinnPost+e-mail+newsletters&utm_campaign=09f10ec3a3-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_04_14&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3631302e9c-09f10ec3a3-123365126
- UPDATE 4/18 https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/04/18/earth-day-climate-agreement-and-march-science