SER Supports the March for Science
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
We are passionate about science and strongly believe scientific inquiry is and should remain nonpartisan. The value that science and science-based decision-making brings to us as individuals (think treatments for cancer, vaccines) and as a society (think water filtration/clean water, refrigeration, the internet) is extraordinary. But we are concerned that the recognition of the importance and nonpartisan value of science is fading. As a professional society that links restoration science and practice, we cannot function and achieve our mission without sound, transboundary, egalitarian scientific inquiry as the foundation of our work.
This is why SER supports the March for Science and encourages you to consider participating in this event as well as other associated activities to support the critical role that independent scientific inquiry plays in human society.
The March for Science is April 22nd in Washington, D.C., with approximately 400 satellite marches happening around the world the same day.
As a scientist, you may be hesitant to engage politically as you consider whether or not you want to participate in a local or national march. As you think this over, we encourage to read this NY Times op-ed from Wendy Palen of Simon Fraser University who discusses similar challenges to scientific debate and progress under Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper and what eventually led to the 2012 “Death of Science” protest in Ottawa:
“One of the biggest blows came when research libraries were closed and historical data and reports, many unique and irreplaceable, were literally thrown into Dumpsters. This purge of environmental data was justified as a ‘cost-saving’ measure. Additionally, many crucial data-gathering institutions were closed or saw their funding cut.”
I don’t believe we have reached such a point and hope we never do. In that context, I’m pleased that SER can participate in a rally FOR science. We believe the March for Science is one important, nonpartisan way to promote continued investment in science-based conservation and restoration and to show support for the use of sound science in policy-making. But we recognize that this is just one way to engage and we encourage our members to stand up for science at work, at home, and elsewhere. By continuing to press for the importance of science-based decision-making and scientific integrity in many different actions over time (letters, opinion pieces, phone calls/meetings with local, state and federal decision-makers, and yes, public marches), we can help shine a light on the incredible benefits science has brought to all people and all societies.
If you do choose to participate, wear your SER hat or t-shirt, make a banner, and send us your pictures, post to our Facebook and Twitter feeds, and participate, participate, participate! As we have previously stated, we will not sit idly by, and we hope that you, our members, won’t either.
In support of scientific integrity everywhere,
SER Executive Director