Still working on the 4th essay. Trying hard to get it right.
An article in Vox explores the pros and cons of the March For Science, which is scheduled for Earth Day 2017 (April 22). The idea is that lots of scientists will descend on our nations's capital to tell our leaders ... what? ... that science matters?
Ah, there's the rub. Once you march for science, science becomes political. And of course the Usual Suspects will be all over this one (from Twitter)—
colonization, racism, immigration, native rights, sexism, ableism, queer-, trans-, intersex-phobia, & econ justice are scientific issues
— March for Science (@ScienceMarchDC) January 29, 2017
Ableism? Inter-sex phobia? I'm With Her?
Social scientist Dietram Scheufele foresees a problem that the march organizers can’t avoid: what messages the marchers bring with them. If marchers show up wearing “I’m With Her” T-shirts, or if large numbers come with signs advocating for abortion rights, for instance, conservatives who read news coverage about the march may be more inclined to dismiss it.
It won’t matter if there truly is a diversity of views on display during the march. All it takes is one photo to solidify an impression.
Really, the planet is heating up, science tells us why, the science is compelling ... end of story. In an ideal world, it shouldn't be necessary to march for science.
But this is not an ideal world, is it? What we've got here is a bunch of big-brained, highly social, story-telling monkeys.
Most scientists believe the hard line between research and activism should never be breached. They've got a point because once that line is blurred, for most of these monkeys, science and politics become indistinguishable.
Scientists also seek to protect their funding by staying out of the political fray. But science gets funded by the government, which makes it a political issue whether these scientists like it or not.
On the other hand, maintaining the line between research and activism allows scientists to maintain the fiction that they are doing science to inform and guide policy-making. As if truth matters.
Not happening, sorry fellas. If you want to try to get something done, you've got to roll around in the mud just like everybody else. Not that mud-rolling will accomplish anything other than making you dirty. And you know what? You were already covered with mud whether you know it or not.
What a mess. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Nothing unusual about that. Thanks for playing!
Have a nice weekend.