So, how’d the March for Science go? I’ll admit that it went better than I expected. My fear (expressed in Friday’s blog) that the effort to support science would be hijacked by a political agenda was only about one-third true. I looked at dozens of photos from the March. Signs for science trumped anti-Trump signs about two to one.
America has 21.5 million university grads with science degrees. About 12 million actually work in science while the rest are retired or resigned to spend their working days doing more lucrative non-science stuff (lawyers, doctors, administrators). Of the several million with ‘science’ degrees who work as ‘scientists’ I would guess only 5 to 10 percent participated in the March. I’m a geophysicist. Though I wasn’t tinkering with seismic waves this weekend, I was tied up teaching a group of 20 beekeeping enthusiasts some finer points of the economics of apiculture. I suspect that a lot of other scientists were dissimilarly engaged and, like me, were not marching.
Many (or most) of those supporting science on Saturday are non-scientists who either used the occasion to voice a political statement and/or they wanted to recognize that experimentation, observation, and deduction make healthier lives – and a better place to live our lives. One of my sisters marched in San Diego (some of her pictures are below) while other friends walked in D.C., Seattle, and Denver.
Here’s a bit of a photo essay that captures some of the weekend’s messages. Although at least a third of the messages were heavily political (and some were even anti-science), most were on target. You’ll even see a couple of placards prompted by concern for the plight of bees.