Why I Will Not be Attending the Science March
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On April 22, 2017, about 100,000 scientists, activists, students, and science educators will be engaging the March for Science in Washington D.C., New Haven, and over 425 other cities on every inhabited continent.
According to its website, the march is “the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments” and will achieve this noble goal through “building a broad, nonpartisan, and diverse coalition… advocating for evidence-based policymaking, science education, research funding, and inclusive and accessible science.” This march sounds amazing in principle, and will include thousands of people, including New Haven students. However, I will not be joining them.
The non-partisanship of this march is important because virtually every ideology on the planet disregards scientific evidence when it inconveniences their golden vision for the future. Conservatives deny anthropogenic climate change, hardcore environmentalists spread paranoia about GMOs and nuclear energy, feminists deny biology, and religious fundamentalists deny evolution. One of the most horrific examples is Lysenkoism: a Soviet campaign against natural selection and Mendelian genetics which resulted in massive crop failures and the starvation of millions of people in Maoist China and Stalinist Russia. The promotion of science requires contribution from all viewpoints because if it doesn’t, it will alienate people and encourage further denialism.
This noble dedication to a non-partisan promotion of science; however, has been infiltrated and hijacked by far-left social justice activists. Some suspected this infiltration early on; the earliest versions of the website talked more about promoting “diversity and inclusion” in science than medical research or the environment. (Ironically, President Trump signed two bills promoting women in STEM. He already agrees with promoting diversity).
These suspicions were stoked by several tweets listing various social justice causes as “scientific issues” and confirmed when organizers for the Washington D.C. march rejected Bill Nye as a leader because he is a white man.
The Science March wouldn’t be the first movement to be corrupted and destroyed by social justice warriors: Occupy Wall Street was originally about economic issues and corruption before it slowly devolved into promoting a myriad array of competing social causes. New Atheism originally focused on religious fundamentalism until Atheism + emerged in 2012 and tried to include feminism into its goals, fostering a division which destroyed the movement.
This infection of Social Justice into science advocacy is especially insulting because the ideology espouses a litany of pseudo-scientific views, such as the rejection of human sexual dimorphism and the belief that obesity is healthy. The domination of postmodernism in certain areas of academia has fermented an intense confirmation bias, rendering vast areas of academia practically useless. The Twitter account @RealPeerReview records abject nonsense passed through various departments, including the eerily Lysenko-esque “Queering Agriculture.” While normal pseudoscience props up nonsense with thin veneer of scientific authority, Postmodernism, Feminist Theory and Critical Race Theory attack the foundations of science itself as a “white supremacist system” or “patriarchal construct.”
Advocacy for science requires a dedication to the truth and willingness to attack bad ideas whenever they arise.
The ideology infecting the Science March obscures truth, promotes policing of thought, and is founded on philosophies which reject the very idea of scientific inquiry. We cannot combat the Trump administration’s negligence of data with the bloodied revenant of Neo-Lysenkoism.