First it was the women, and their allies. Then the scientists, and the believers in science: On April 22, Earth Day, a March for Science will take place in Washington, DC, and more than 500 other cities around the world, as ”the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments.”
According to the organizers, the march champions “robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity.” It isn’t a partisan event but, the organizers say, a “celebration of science” and the impact science has in everyone’s life. However, the timing is political: “In the face of an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery,” reads the official site, “can we afford not to speak out in its defense?”
Not everyone agrees; some scientists fear that politicizing science is dangerous. But for those who want to go, the appointment is at 9am in Washington, DC (though the march doesn’t start until 2pm); other cities are in the schedule on the march’s website.
Rejecting the notion that scientists ought not to participate in political conversations, several renowned authorities and institutions have expressed their support for the march—from Bill Nye, America’s “science guy” (and philosophy lover) and his Planetary Society, to astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson, who on April 19 released a video showing the importance of science in the growth of the US, and the damage wrought by science denialism:
For those interested in doing more than marching, there are a few ways to get involved. The first (and easiest) is by donating: The main site has a merchandise section and donation page, and so do some of the satellite marches. Many of the marches outside DC also offer the opportunity to participate as a volunteer, or participate in outreach.
Here is information about some of the largest marches, and more can be found on the march’s main site:
New York City: Here is the form to sign up as a volunteer.
Chicago: This march needs marshals, and will train them.
Boston: There are several ways to get actively involved, from volunteering to fundraising.
San Francisco: Volunteers can sign up online, as well as participants.
Seattle: The volunteer team is recruiting in several capacities, from accounting to cleaning up.
Los Angeles: Amongst other opportunities, in LA you can become an expo vendor.
London: Participants can participate in a crowdsourced video answering three questions about science.
Oslo: The Oslo site has a page dedicated to science games (for both kids and adults) as well as a sign-up page for volunteers.