How can I be so sure of these things?
For the record I have read their mission and values statements... but the March for science also does things like tweet about the poor marginalized ISIS fighters who were blew up in their bunker by a MOAB. That is a left leaning version of an unhinged Trump tweet.
Lets take a look at the March for Science's own statements to see who this March is likely to attract.
The march is explicitly a political movement, aimed at holding leaders in politics and science accountable. When institutions of any affiliation skew, ignore, misuse or interfere with science, we have to speak out. Science should inform political decision making. At the same time, political decisions deeply influence the type of science we are able to do and the type of people who are allowed to conduct science and benefit from scientific advancements.
That's right, the March for science has become a political social activist cause with a left wing bent. There is nothing inherently bad about being left wing. However, this leads to two great dangers.
The first and least damaging danger is that this event will focus on the anti science of the right without addressing the anti science ideas on the left. Examples of right wing anti science ideas would be young Earth creationism, intelligent design, climate change denial, denial of various kinds of medical science and so forth. This would be irritating but not really damaging aside from making the people who take part look partisan and petty.
The second and most damaging danger is that the position taken by the march that one side of the political spectrum has all the science on its side and the other are brain-dead hicks will cause a real rift. That is to say, all science ends up being as politicized as climate change science is now. Right now one political parties voters are convinced that human caused or human contributed to climate change is some kind of a conspiracy. Do we want people looking at all other science and scientist as partisan?
Something which has bugged me for the last 8-9 years is that many on the left acted like history was over when Barrack Obama was elected. That the Democrats would be able to run the USof A like a single party state. That "history was on their side" and they could not keep loosing.
Sometimes republicans win elections, a lot of elections and if we let the "March for Science" present a lopsided view of who is anti science and alienate them we will never get their votes for our funding.
If this second possibility comes true then the scientific leadership of the united states is done for. Without a bipartisan commitment big science projects cannot be done.
In my ideal world a march for science would do the following:
- Promote science literacy
- Encourage people to develop the skills to think for themselves not telling them what to think
- Debunking all manner of myths about science and scientist (YES including showing our diversity we are not all like Doc. Brown in Back to the Future.)
- An after march action plan for how to reach out to all levels of politician and gain support for science education, and research.