Bioethics Blogs

Web Roundup: Marching for Science, which is what, exactly? by Lily Shapiro

Many of you may have marched (or chosen not to march) at last week’s March for Science. I marched with my partner and young son here in Coimbatore, India.

It’s fair to say that confusion, controversy, and disagreement plagued the Science March from early on, for two important reasons: The first, from a group of scientists who believe the politicizing science (as if it is not already always political) will dilute its power (its “objectivity”). On the blog addgene, one scientist, Stephanie Hays, explains why, amidst some controversy, she intended to march. While many anthropologists I know would take issue with her first sentence, “Science is an apolitical process for seeking knowledge,” she goes on to detail why some are wary of the politicization of science but defends the need to establish that words like fact and truth mean something in the current political climate. Her post also contains a good reference list of other articles and posts on the march for science at the bottom.

An op-ed by Robert S. Young in The New York Times “A Scientists’ March on Washington is a Bad Idea,” makes a similar argument. While Vox points out that “Science is already political. So scientists might as well march.”

The second (and, to my view, more interesting) set of controversies around the march have to do with pushback especially from scientists of color and allies who wanted to centralize concerns about the lack of diversity in science and STEM fields. Sociologist Zuleyka Zevallos has a long blog post on the various and contradictory statements from Science March leadership on diversity and inclusion.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.