Scientist Explains Why He Will Not Join “March for Science”


The Mad Virologist explains why he will not participate in the March for Science.  It began on the MfS Facebook page:

Imagine my surprise when I saw a comment in the group about science in the US being bought and paid for. This type of conspiracy theory had been cropping up more and more in the group as well as other pseudoscience in general. So I commented that I found the idea of scientists being bought and paid for offensive and I felt that type of attitude had no place in a group that was meant to organize scientists to let our voices be heard. I often see the idea that scientists are bought and paid for coming from people that have no connection to science or scientists and this case was no different. I may have been a little curt in my reply where I pointed out that the idea of science being bought and paid for is offensive, but I never would have guessed what the response from other members would have been. I was told that I was being an elitist and snobbish in my tone and that I was being divisive for pointing out that the idea that science as a whole is bought and paid for is offensive. When I pointed out that pseudoscience had no place in a movement for science, I was told that all thoughts and opinions should be given equal footing. This was the point that I left the group.

Then he noticed many pseudoscience organizations were associated with the MfS:

I’ve told my concerns about how the march could be co-opted by antiscience groups and weaken the message that was trying to be shared to a few friends of mine. Sadly, this seems to be what is happening to the march as they’ve recently partnered with the Center for Biological Diversity. On the surface, this seems to be okay; however, this group is rabidly anti-GMO and often repeats bad science when it comes to discussing GE crops. Stephan Neidenbach addresses some of these misconceptions here and was the first to point out that this antiscience group is taking part in the march. But this isn’t the only questionable group to partner with march. They’ve also partnered with the Union of Concerned Scientists, a group that is anti-GMO and anti-nuclear power. Another problematic partner is the Center for Science in Public Interest which has problematic positions on artificial sweeteners and food dyes. No, aspartame does not cause cancer and the link of artificial food dyes to hyperactivity is tenuous at best. Earth Day Network is another troublesome partner as they have posted antiGMO stories on their facebook page.

There are many other partners that are fantastic scientific organizations, but my fear here is that the event is going to be tainted by the organizations that do not hold science in the same regard. Much like my experience in the main FB group, I wonder if these pseudoscience organizations are being included for “diversity of opinion.”

I don’t think they were added for “diversity of opinion.”

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2 Responses to Scientist Explains Why He Will Not Join “March for Science”

  1. Pingback: March For Science, War On Knowledge? - Thinking Christian

  2. Dhay says:

    Here’s another scientist (emeritus) who explains why he will not participate in the March for Science:

    … The March is supposed to be for science, not against what science does. …

    Yep, the MfS is a house divided against itself. So:

    … Though I was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War and consider myself a progressive, agreeing with many of the political views held by the Science March’s organizers, they’ve proven themselves ham-handed, inexperienced, tone-deaf, and unable to resist identity politics to the extent that they’re now sympathizing with ISIS. I’m done with this group, and with the Science March. I’ll do my bit for science by speaking and writing articles, something that may be more effect than waving placards in the streets.

    Sympathising with ISIS? Jerry Coyne backs this up this claim with a screenshot of a now deleted post by @ScienceMarchDC:

    The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast is 1 example of how science is weaponized against marginalized people

    ISIS are marginalised people, eh. Arguably there should be a public furore over this similar to the one occasioned by Sean Spicer’s recent stupid remarks.

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