Friday Action Item: Your #MarchForScience checklist

Sign at the Boston Rally for Science, back in February. (Flickr: AnubisAbyss)

On Fridays while the current administration is in office we’re posting small, concrete things you can do to help make things better. Got a suggestion for an Action Item? E-mail us!
Tomorrow, scientists and science supporters around the world will rally in support of science’s role in society. The flagship March for Science in Washington, D.C. has been plagued by confused messaging and failures to include the full diversity of people working in and interested in science — many of our readers may be going to other Earth Day events or to better-organized satellite marches. Still, I’m hopeful that tomorrow can be the start of a scientific community that is better engaged with the rest of society. Several of us at TME, including me, will be on the National Mall for the march in Washington, and others will be at their local satellite marches. If you’re planning to participate, here’s a few things you’ll want to think about before tomorrow morning:

  • Check the event details at the March (or satellite/alternative event) website — what’s the march route and the start time? What will you be able to bring with you?
  • Check the weather forecast, and dress accordingly. Wear comfortable shoes!
  • Organize to meet up with like-minded folks within larger events — for instance, members of the American Society of Naturalists, Society of Systematic Biology, and Society for the Study of Evolution are going to try to meet before the D.C. march, at Federal Triangle.
  • Make your sign. There’s lots of scope for clever, science-y slogans. “Science not Silence” looks like it’s popular, but I also like “Everybody needs science/ Science needs everybody”, and “We’re here, we’re peer-reviewed, get used to it” — there’s more inspiration in this Twitter thread and this Flickr album from the Boston Rally for Science in February. Bonus points if you can tie your slogan into your own research.
  • Speaking of your own research, have an elevator-pitch version of it ready to go — you will (hopefully) be meeting members of the science-supporting public, and maybe even talking to journalists covering the event, so be prepared to explain what your role in science is, and why it’s important for society.

See you in the streets!

About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy B. Yoder is an Associate Professor of Biology at California State University Northridge, studying the evolution and coevolution of interacting species, especially mutualists. He is a collaborator with the Joshua Tree Genome Project and the Queer in STEM study of LGBTQ experiences in scientific careers. He has written for the website of Scientific American, the LA Review of Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Awl, and Slate.
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