The organizers of tomorrow’s March for Science declare: “We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.”
I understand the desire to present this in nonpartisan, inclusive terms, and yet the urgent need to defend science comes from the fact that it now faces a concerted attack from the leaders of multiple government agencies including the occupant of the White House.
Moreover, this attack does not represent a counter-scientific body of opinion. On the contrary, what it represents is a body of interests that see in science a threat to their investments.
The strategy being pursued by those who see science as a threat to their wealth is to promote ignorance and erect barricades that are designed to obscure inconvenient truths.
This isn’t a debate in which a lack of appreciation for the value of science can be countered by the promotion of its virtues.
It is not a struggle of ideas through which a new paradigm replaces an outmoded system of belief.
It is a struggle of values standing up against those who prize their possessions more than truth or life itself.