The date April 22, 2017 may go down in history as a world first. Not only was it the first time that scientists took to the streets to march in defense of the most basic values — evidence and truth — but it was the first outing for what is fast becoming a new phenomenon: a global pro-science movement. At the final count, more than 600 March for Science events took place around the world.
The ambivalence that scientists feel about activism was clearly on display in the various Marches for Science. “I really should be writing!” apologized several placards seen in different cities. “You know things are serious when the introverts arrive,” read another. Some of the chants were similarly baffling to passers-by. London marchers chanted, “What do we want? Evidence-based policy. When do we want it? After peer review!” as they filed past 10 Downing Street.
As an official partner of the March for Science, the Alliance for Science at Cornell University assisted with the main march in Washington D.C., as its Global Leadership Fellows and country coordinators led or supported march events in Kenya, Uganda, Bangladesh, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, London, Ghana, South Africa, Chile, Madrid, San Francisco and Mexico City.
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