It has recently come to my attention that scientists across the country are calling upon the March for Science to be more diverse and openly political. I, a dude who enjoys angrily tweeting about things, think that this is hogwash!
First of all, science is not political. It never has been! It is well known that when Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine, he said “Please don’t politicize this!” and millions of Americans were cured of their polio only when Congress introduced a bill that made polio illegal. Similarly, the scientists who created the first nuclear bomb did so on a dare, and then they stuck it in a coat closet with a Post-It note that said “Don’t use this for murder” and then Harry Truman ended World War II by winning a rock-paper-scissors tournament. When Clair Patterson tried to measure the age of the Earth and discovered that atmospheric lead levels were dangerously high, he was like, “Okay, cool” and then everyone died of lead poisoning, but in a nonpolitical way.
Second, scientists should stay out of politics. It’s not like any of the people who are being deported, or are being assaulted by police officers, or are living without access to clean water, are scientists. Scientists are brave, handsome, tenured men who sleep in a nest of fully funded grant proposals. Instead of doing “feminine physics” (which is when you try to do physics but you can’t because The Notebook is on Lifetime) or “gay physics” (which is when you use physics to define the arc a handful of glitter makes when you throw it in the air) maybe you should just try doing “physics” (which is when you do physics while you walk around in the world without ever having to fear for your safety because of the way you look or act).
In short, I don’t think that the people involved in the science march should embrace identity politics. If you’re really all that concerned about being discriminated against in a science lab, why don’t you just try showing up to work as some kind of sentient mist? Also, there is no sexism in science, because Marie Curie was a scientist, and there is no racism in science, because I tweeted that once.
Instead, I believe that this march needs to be completely apolitical and nonpartisan. I think that we should protest the current administration, which wants to repeal laws guaranteeing clean air and water, claim that climate change is a hoax, and remove scientists’ access to quality healthcare, but in a way that doesn’t alienate members of the current administration. We should demand change, but vaguely, and from no one in particular.
To conclude, I can’t wait for the March for Science. To enrich the scientific community of which I consider myself to be a vital part, I will be spending the next month viciously harassing people who are trying to make the March more accessible and inclusive on social media!