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Science not Silence- Scientists Are Poised to Start a New Movement

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Brian Kahn March 1 2017 ClimateCentral Full story here

The current political climate has spurred a growing cadre of scientists to  emerge from their labs, offices and fieldwork sites to contest an administration that’s openly hostile to scientific inquiry — particularly when it comes to climate change — and coined the term “alternative facts.”

..The March for Science is the most visible piece of the new movement, with hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, a private planning Facebook group with more than 837,000 members and more than 50,000 volunteers. The march has the potential to go down as one of the largest mass mobilizations by scientists in history.

It’s also faced some challenges both internally and externally. Planners have been debating appropriate symbols….some scientists have argued that taking to the streets puts the scientific enterprise in jeopardy of being seen as too politicized. Robert Young, a coastal geologist, crystallized that sentiment in a New York Times op-ed in late January.

“Trying to recreate the pointedly political Women’s March will serve only to reinforce the narrative from skeptical conservatives that scientists are an interest group and politicize their data, research and findings for their own ends,” he wrote…. Ziad Munson, an expert in conservative social movements from Lehigh University, said. “Yes there is a danger of politicizing science, but the question is whether or not that ship has already sailed.”…

…Social science researchers say that getting involved is only part of the equation, and that scientists will need messages — and actions — that resonate.

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