I’ll march for science, because the truth and the pursuit of truth matters. A lot.

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This saturday 22 April a global March for Science will take place in around 500 hundred cities worldwide. I’ll take part in the Amsterdam March for Science, taking place between 12:00 and 16:00 on Museumplein. You can find me in the “discovery” tent with some posters about climate change and sustainable energy.

Science and rational thinking has brought a lot of good to the world. Facts and a good understanding of the situation are important input for making wise decisions. Scientists should be able to do their work in freedom, not being hindered or silenced by political pressure. Science is not just another opinion. I value the truth and the pursuit of truth. That’s why I will join the march for science.

Great 4 minute video by Neil deGrasse Tyson about the value of science:

Other reading:

FAQ on the America March for Science website.

I’m a Scientist. This is What I’ll Fight For. Strong, US-centered essay by Jonathan Foley:

“The War on Science is more than a skirmish over funding, censorship, and “alternative facts”. It’s a battle for the future, basic decency, and the people we love.”

He wrote quite a few more readable pieces on the war on science.

No, you’re not entitled to your opinion.

“You are only entitled to what you can argue for. (…) false equivalence between experts and non-experts is an increasingly pernicious feature of our public discourse. (…) If ‘Everyone’s entitled to their opinion’ just means no-one has the right to stop people thinking and saying whatever they want, then the statement is true, but fairly trivial. No one can stop you saying that vaccines cause autism, no matter how many times that claim has been disproven. But if ‘entitled to an opinion’ means ‘entitled to have your views treated as serious candidates for the truth’ then it’s pretty clearly false. And this too is a distinction that tends to get blurred.”

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9 Responses to “I’ll march for science, because the truth and the pursuit of truth matters. A lot.”

  1. vuurklip Says:

    Who are you marching against? Who is waging a “war on science”?

    – A small minority of Creationists?
    – A small (3%) minority of climate sceptics?
    – A small minority of flat earthers?

    Just asking.

  2. Marco Says:

    Vuurklip, climate skeptics may be a very small group among scientists, but they are not nearly as uncommon among the general population. Same goes for the creationists, especially if you look at the US.

    For example, around 40% of the US population believes in creationism (in the sense that a god created humans); even young-earth creationists are a considerable group (around 10-15%).

    And if you think that small groups are not important, note that for many diseases you need vaccination rates well above 80% to have herd immunity.

  3. vuurklip Says:

    My question has not been answered: Exactly who are you marching against? Be precise.

    Marching against every litte (non)threat is being worse than Chicken Little or the Boy Who Cried Wolf! They were focused.

  4. Marco Says:

    Simple: the inordinately large influence that the anti-science crowd is getting on politics in Western countries.

    There are now several Western countries where it is normal or even required for politicians to deny the reality of certain scientific findings (and not just AGW).

    In the US the AGW denial has now reached the same political dominance as HIV/AIDS denial under Thabo Mbeki.

  5. vuurklip Says:

    Thanks, Marco. I now have an idea as to your views. I would still like to hear Bart’s reasons for marching.

  6. vuurklip Says:

    Another view by Thomas Fuller:
    https://cliscep.com/2017/04/23/what-we-could-have-said-at-a-march-for-science/

  7. Bart Verheggen Says:

    Vuurklip,

    I gave my reasons for marching in the above post. Anything unclear?

  8. planetfirstearth Says:

    Dear Bart, I love the blog. Is it possible to drag your attention to a campaign to remove 100 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. It is a campaign to draw attention to technology that exists today, which can actually filter CO2 from the ambient air. We want to prove that we needn’t wait on our governments to make a difference. We can make a difference ourselves.

    https://wemakeit.com/projects/let-s-remove-100-tons-co2

    Please do feel free to contact us.

    Thanks

    Samuel

  9. Polly Says:

    Hope science can hold up against the anti-intellectual hordes … our survival depends on it!

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