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It may be the largest rally in support of science ever. Hundreds of thousands of people have joined the Facebook group for the upcoming March for Science, and tens of thousands have offered to volunteer. Beyond a march in Washington, more than 400 cities worldwide will host simultaneous events on April 22 to repudiate science policies of the new White House and Congress.

Yet for all the excitement, STAT has found, plans for the march are plagued by infighting among organizers, attacks from outside scientists who don’t feel their interests are fairly represented, and operational disputes. Tensions have become so pronounced that some organizers have quit and many scientists have pledged not to attend.

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  • I was very enthusiastic about standing up for science as a valuable and necessary discipline until the “Science” March turned into a PC Identity Politics bonanza. Now, I have no interest in going to the March. I say this as one who is an egalitarian and who would like to see equality for everyone in all aspects of society. I would also like to see a level playing field in science.

    However, I think there are better ways to go about achieving equality than the application of “inclusion and diversity” dogma. Unfortunately, since one vocal group of “Intersectionalists,” an ideology held by a minority of those in the sciences, has usurped the event for their own agenda, the rest of us are unable to express our views on either how to achieve equality in science or on what the Science March should be about.

    If you observe the Intersectionalists online, you will see that anyone who disagrees with or questions them is immediately called a “racist.” They are very aggressive and antagonize everyone who challenges them. But because they are members of minority groups, the March’s organizers have overlooked their behavior towards others and concluded that they were being “harassed.” (It is typical of Leftists to give minority groups preferential treatment over the majority.)

    Making the March about diversity has taken what could have been a stand for the value of reason and the systematic testing of hypotheses and made it into a Leftist circus. I have not spoken to a single scientist who wants to associate him/herself with this fiasco. Very few competent scientists want Identity Politics in science. And this does not just hold true for White males (as the Social Justice group would have you believe).

    What the organizers are doing with the Science March goes beyond Leftist dogma. They are embracing pseudoscience and championing a belief system which masquerades as science.

    Not only will I not go to the Science March, but I will fight to keep Identity Politics out of science. I see that approach as degrading the quality of scientific endeavor because it provides opportunities to people based primarily on their identity group, not on their ability or experience. I would rather find the best person for the job, irrespective of their sex, race, religion, ethnic group, etc.

    I also see what’s happening with this March as introducing anti-intellectualism into science. If these people infiltrate science, there will be no standards and nothing will be decided on merit. That has happened everywhere Identity Politics has gotten a foothold.

    As far as I am concerned the Social Justice crowd can have the Science March to themselves, but they cannot have science on their terms. Winning over amateur Science March organizers is one thing. Overthrowing Science itself is another. And, while we will walk away from the March, the Intersectionalists should understand that if they think they are going to impose Identity Politics on everyone in science, they have another thing coming.

  • Why are we worried about misogynists and bigots who refuse to accept diversity? No one wants them at the March for Science anyway. There are over 400 worldwide satellite Marches that do NOT have any of the problems described by the critics in this article. We embrace diversity AND science, why is that so difficult for some to accept? Maybe it stabs their white privilege in the heart or something. I’m really looking forward to April 22 and am proud to be a March organizer.

    • Keep the PC out of the Science March! It is to show the current government that SCIENCE is not an OPINION! I am bringing my daughters to the March, but not because they are girls, BECAUSE they are our children! Who deserve better than what the current elected government is offering them.

    • Matt: I agree. Much of identity politics appears bound up with post-modern thought which is anti-science: science is characterized as having little value because it is largely conducted by “privileged, white male dominated.”

    • There’s a sure-fire way to find out if these groups or people are SCIENTISTS or IDEOLOGUES, just ask them a few simple questions and see if they ignore the basics (biology, statistics etc.), for instance:

      “How many genders are there?”

      “Does cutting off one’s penis turn a man into a woman?”

      “Do IQ differences between races exist?”

      Should provide a rather quick result of whether they care about “science” or not.

  • Diversity issues should be integrated in the march, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the big picture. We’re in one of those “existential crises” you read about – better to have science on the national agenda and fix its problems than to see it diminished.

  • Come on people. Snap out of your shit. March and show support for science, scientists, science funding and anything else good you choose to associate with that. The objections and dissension do zero good.

  • I think we can all agree that the main message of this march is to support scientific research and to create policies based on scientific evidence. However, I fail to see how diversity issues should not be included in the message of this march since they are directly related to the scientific workforce. Science is as much of a method, as it is an institution and an enterprise. The scientific evidence that should be used to create policies is generated by the workforce that is made up of people from all walks of life regardless of age, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation. However, the issues of harassment and discrimination still exist in this workforce and should be addressed if scientific evidence is to be without bias. And these issues should be tackled by implementing policies that would protect minority groups in scientific communities till the playing field is level for everyone. So saying that diversity and minority issues are not part of science is invalid since they directly affect the generation of scientific evidence that is to be considered for policy making processes which. to reiterate, is the goal of this march.

    • It literally doesn’t matter… Who cares if it’s a white person finding evidence over a black person? Unless you can provide evidence that there is inbred fighting within a REAL scientific community when it comes to diversity, like discrimination hiring, then you have no basis to speak because scientific discoveries are still discoveries that push the human race forward in innovation. It doesn’t need diversity to do this.

  • As a follower of this event from the beginning, you are blowing problems out of proportion. The average person who will participate has none of these issues. We just want to support science. You also neglected to mention the more than 400 satellite marches around the world, which also involve organizing committees who don’t seem to have the same problems. Stop trying to find the negative outliers and focus on the positive whole!

    • The Women’s march was noted as being a rather white event. If you fail to sprinkle enough non-whites among the participants of your “science” march you risk being noted for the same thing.

  • “and asked why they thought a gender gap existed, when a huge body of research has shed light on that issue.”

    Is that so? Let me check the source for this citation… oh wait, you didn’t provide any…

  • I asked local organizers if there would be any groups representing some of the more popular pseudosciences at the Denver march, since they think they have science on their side. I named a few, such as anti-vaccination, anti-GMO, and anti-fluoridation. I got back some responses about the dangers of fluoridation. Shush.

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