For March for Science Leaders, the Work is Just Beginning

by SRA International on Friday, April 28, 2017

Excerpt from "For March for Science Leaders, the Work Is Just Beginning," posted on Chronicle.com, April 25, 2017


Organizers of Saturday’s March for Science hailed the global event as a success — but they didn’t stop to celebrate for long.

Here in the nation’s capital, the site of the weekend’s main march, organizers met on Sunday with partnering organizations at the Carnegie Institution for Science to discuss their next steps for the effort. The meeting was closed to the public, but attendees said that participants were resolved to keep the momentum up. And though an exact plan hasn’t been formulated, there’s no shortage of ideas for what form the movement could take.

In the immediate future, science advocates have planned a full roster for this week — a "week of action’" that includes many ideas for outreach and communication activities. A partner organization of the march, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is maintaining an online portal where scientists and others can continue to access information and find opportunities to speak up for science.

Further down the line, leaders of the march say they want to take some of the encouraging aspects of the event and capitalize on them. Rosalyn R. LaPier, a member of the national steering committee for the March for Science, said in an interview after the march here that part of what made it a "fantastic day" was the attendance of so many nonscientists — particularly young families with children.

Ms. LaPier, a visiting assistant professor of women’s studies, environmental studies, and Native American religion at the Harvard Divinity School, also pointed to the diversity of speakers who addressed the thousands of people who gathered on the National Mall for the march. She added that the March for Science could continue with this focus by becoming a major stakeholder in science advocacy as a nonprofit nongovernmental organization aiming to help marginalized communities use science for their benefit.

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