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Science Organizations Back March

Some two dozen scientific organizations and societies have signed on as supporters of the April March for Science, ScienceInsider reports. The march was organized in response to the new Trump Administration's views on science and scientific evidence, but rather than framing it as a protest march, organizers have called the march a celebration of science.

According to ScienceInsider, groups like American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Center for Science Education, and the Union of Concerned Scientists are partnering with the march. "We see the activities collectively known as the March as a unique opportunity to communicate the importance, value, and beauty of science," AAAS CEO Rush Holt writes in a statement. AAAS publishes ScienceInsider.

This support, particularly from AAAS, gives the march added legitimacy, Stat News notes, and signals a shift in AAAS policy toward embracing activism. Holt tells Stat News that the organization's agreement with the march says the event is non-partisan, but pro-science.

However, Stat News notes that, based on a recent rally in Boston, it might difficult to distinguish protesting administration policies and the administration itself. In addition, some worry that rallies and marches might have negative effects.

"There are potential up and downsides. I think the downside is science making itself appear as just another interest group," John Holdren, the former Obama administration science advisor, said recently, according to Stat News.