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American Chemical Society backs March for Science

April demonstration will call for funding and public communication of science

by Cheryl Hogue
March 15, 2017

Credit: Barry Solow/Flickr/Creative Commons
Some demonstrators at the Women’s March in January, including this one in New York City, expressed support for science.

The American Chemical Society is officially supporting next month’s planned mass demonstration in support of science.

The March for Science, scheduled for Earth Day, April 22, will take place in Washington, D.C. In addition, more than 320 satellite marches are scheduled throughout the U.S.—from Miami to Fairbanks, Alaska—and across the world. The March for Science organizers have tweeted that they hope to build a movement “to champion science that serves the public good and the need to protect such science.”

ACS says in a March 15 statement that its support for the march is predicated on two conditions. One is that the event must “adhere strictly to its established and publicly posted mission and principles, which closely mirror ACS’s own vision, mission and goals.” The other is that the march maintains its nonpartisan stance as a celebration of science and its contributions to “improving the human condition and addressing the world’s most pressing challenges.”

Date: April 22, 2017 (Earth Day)

Mission: To promote “robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity”

Main march: Washington, D.C., starting with a teach-in on the National Mall at 10 AM

Satellite marches: Cities across the U.S. and world

March partners: Include ACS, AAAS, and the American Association of University Professors

Social media hashtag: #marchforscience

Glenn Ruskin, director of External Affairs & Communications at ACS, tells C&EN, “The beauty of the timing of the march is that it occurs on the same day that ACS has had its long-standing Chemists Celebrate Earth Day.” The theme of this year’s April 22 outreach event is “Chemistry Helps Feed the World.”

ACS, which publishes C&EN, joins an array of science groups that partnered with the march earlier. They include the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union, American Association of University Professors, California Academy of Sciences, New York Academy of Sciences, Society for Neuroscience, Sigma Xi, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.



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Nicholas Coppa (March 15, 2017 11:02 AM)
In the web article, "American Chemical Society backs March for Science," the lead photo was of a demonstrator's sign that read, "I believe in science." Science is a knowledge based discipline and requires no act of faith to "believe;" it is not a religion. (The basic difference between knowledge and belief has been of common understanding since 300 AD, maybe earlier.) Accordingly, I would have chosen a more rational sign conveying what it is our discipline pervades and why that is important. Promoting emotional, less thought-out expressions, causes me and many other of my colleagues in science to pause and think perhaps I(we) do not want to be part of that crowd.
George Cernigliaro (March 15, 2017 4:10 PM)
Couldn't agree more. Much of what now passes as "consensus science" in this politically charged world is PC-based faith. I believe in the power of science to make rational that which appears as miracle, and in the power of science to change life for the better. In that, there is good science everywhere, which deserves better than what many of these demonstrators seem to think.
Matthew Smith (March 15, 2017 9:36 PM)
Nicholas, I can understand where you are coming from and is not a bad point, but shouldn't we be trying to engage people like that that "believe" in science instead of not wanting to be part of "that crowd"? I mean that crowd is excited about science. Meeting with that crowd, engaging with in dialogue, that's how we increase science literacy! We don't do that by locking ourselves away in our gilded towers crowing away about how that crowd doesn't understand the finer points of scientific rhetoric.
Nicholas coppa (August 5, 2017 6:48 PM)
Matthew, Your point is well taken. I suppose that is what the ACS is all about. It just would have been better if they more carefully chose what and how they put their message out.
NC (March 26, 2017 3:06 AM)
That's the joke.....
Joseph Cotruvo (March 15, 2017 3:58 PM)
Demonstrating will get some publicity, but not have any political impact, even though demonstrations seem to be in vogue for the last few months. Do serious members really want ACS to be associated with the image of all of the recent demonstrations for or against something or other? ACS should be active every day by communicating with and educating politicians and public and press. A feel good march won't be worth the time, and might even engender negative feelings for ACS and science among decision makers.
Wasiu Lawal (March 16, 2017 11:20 PM)
"ACS should be active every day by communicating with and educating politicians and public and press."

The ACS does this exactly. That's why there's the ACS Public Policy Fellowships which sends bright young chemists to Capotol Hill to help advise representatives on science policy.

That is why a number of senior ACS Governance members have been to Capitol Hill to testify in some science related hearings.

That is why ACS has been working hard over the past few years to encourage and teach it's members to communicate science effectively with non-scientists. To this end, guide was released a year ago at the National Meeting in San Diego.

So yes, ACS has been communicating and educating, it just happens that this president seems to not see the importance of Science. All those efforts will obviously continue but milions of scientists coming out on the same day at 300 different locations will send a message.
Andrew Davis (March 15, 2017 8:43 PM)
Joseph: Yes. This serious member very much wants his professional scientific society to be associated with a march to support and promote healthy scientific institutions.
Matthew Smith (March 15, 2017 9:49 PM)
I agree with Andrew.

Besides, Joseph, the ACS is involved everyday in communicating with and educating politicians. Is that not why we have programs like Act4Chemistry, or committees like the Committee on Chemistry & Public Affairs, which I might add, played a role in helping start the bipartisan Congressional Chemistry Caucus last year.
Michael E. Miller (March 16, 2017 10:31 AM)
I applaud my ACS for joining with these other esteemed scientific societies and taking a stand. Science and facts in general are under attack; there is no denying this disturbing trend. ACS can contribute by making this very public statement, even while we continue to reach out, educate, and communicate. Every individual and even some of their actions at the march may not reflect the opinions and/or mission of every ACS member, but it is an American value to embrace our diversity while working toward a shared goal.
Kelly Moran (March 22, 2017 1:34 PM)
I completely agree with Michael. ACS's support of the March for Science makes me proud to be an ACS member.
Joe Cotruvo (March 16, 2017 2:03 PM)
Rick Conley (March 22, 2017 1:32 PM)
Marches make people feel good. What they accomplish or don't accomplish is another matter. Please knock yourselves out and enjoy.

I have just one question for the ACS and I have had it for a real long time. It is rather mundane and not very "progressive".

Where was the American Chemistry Society when all the chemistry jobs left or were lost? No marches for chemistry jobs that I can remember, not a word.
Christopher Cook (March 22, 2017 8:51 PM)
ACS should not participate in this demonstration. For too long, ACS has embarrassed itself by consistently advocating for leftist politics, e.g., heavily advocating man-made global warming for years, despite all the evidence of deceit and malice that are its backbone. In service of that cause, Rudy Baum brought particular shame to C&EN, the flagship publication of the Society. ACS should back away from participating in this ill-conceived and ill-advised event. As an organization, you're already tainted - don't make things worse for chemists in general.
David Arnold (March 23, 2017 12:00 PM)
March for Science?

Reading the article gives me a creepy feeling of being sold a bill of goods. On one hand, there's a march, commonly associated with hippies and goodness and pureness. On the other hand, the message is chemistry feeds the world? No, food feeds the world, and who appointed us as benefactor?

Pick a side.

Please refund my dues and withdraw my membership. This behavior and group think is no different than GE, Rockwell, and Black Ops.
David Arnold (March 23, 2017 12:11 PM)
March for Science, or March for corporatism? These are the same professionals who object to other special interest groups. Fracking was scientific "proven". Do we still believe the "scientific" fluorides scam? Hydrogenated oils in food was another "scientific" lie. Bloodletting corporatism, not science.

Please reconsider your redefinition of the sacred word, science, and kindly withdraw my membership.
Alan R. Heldon (March 25, 2017 2:52 PM)
I am saddened by the above comments. Scientists who either have no convictions or no courage and who are compelled to disparage those who do.
I will be at the Philadelphia March for Science. I am partisan, a partisan of science. I believe in and support science and I am proud to join others of conscience.

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