Are scientists going to march on Washington? – By Sarah Kaplan January 25 2017


People hold signs as they listen to a group of scientists speak during a rally in conjunction with the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The next big march on Washington could flood the Mall with scientists.

It’s an idea spawned on Reddit, where several scientists — concerned about the new president’s policies on climate change and other issues, and hyped from the success of the Women’s March on Washington — were discussing the best way to respond to what they feared would be an administration hostile to science.

Then someone wrote, “There needs to be a Scientists’ March on Washington.”

“100%,” someone replied. Dozens of others agreed.

[Trump administration gives scientists cold shoulder, alarming research community

One participant in the exchange, University of Texas Health Science Center postdoctoral fellow Jonathan Berman, took the conversation to heart. In short order, the march had a Facebook page (whose membership swelled from 200 people on Tuesday night to more than 300,000 by Wednesday evening), a Twitter handle, a website, two co-chairs, Berman and science writer and public health researcher Caroline Weinberg, and a Google form through which interested researchers could sign up to help.

Right now, that’s all it has. But, as the women’s march on Saturday demonstrated, social movements have started with less.

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