Inspired by the recent Women's March on Washington, scientists across the country are looking into holding a similar march to raise awareness of a pressing issue being ignored by the Trump administration: climate change.
The idea started on Reddit, where a discussion started over the concern shared by many scientists that climate change will be ignored during the Trump presidency. (It's a concern that's not unfounded, as Trump once called climate change a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.) The Washington Post summarized the discussion, reporting that as participants discussed the news coming out of Washington, they realized they had to find a way to respond. After seeing the success of the Women's March on Washington, and its sister marches in other cities and countries, one user posted, "There needs to be a Scientists' March on Washington." Soon after, many other users began posting about their support for the idea.
Following this, University of Texas Health Science Center postdoctoral fellow Jonathan Berman began to put the plan into action. He created a Facebook page that gained popularity overnight, now settled at about 230,000 likes. He also created a website and Twitter handle to spread the idea. Berman and his now co-chair, Caroline Weinberg, quickly began to gather the names of interested scientists, and it seems the idea is coming into its own.
On Tuesday, the science community found out that some scientists with federal research agencies are being told they cannot share their findings with the public. In an email written to the Washington Post, Weinberg said, "We were inspired (well, infuriated) by the current attacks on science from the new administration." She feels this "cannot be allowed to stand as policy."
Berman, Weinberg and other scientists will be working on a plan this weekend to develop the idea of a march. Along with their march on Washington, they're also planning sister marches in other cities. They want the march to include, "anyone who believes in empirical science," not just fellow scientists. USA Today says the group hopes to announce the official date of the march next week and release their mission statement on Monday.