Over at Evolution News & Views, David Klinghoffer predicts that the March for Science (April 22) will be a hell of a mess, and thinks maybe that’s okay:
But judging from the coverage we’ve seen up till now, it looks like the march is set to be an exercise in self-congratulation and virtue signaling, political axe-grinding, a veiled grab by ideological partisans for power and funding. We venture to predict that most marchers won’t even be scientists but, instead, people looking to seize hold of the prestige of science for their own ends.
There’s been much talk of diversity, as organizers have revised the diversity statement on their website multiple times, so that nobody — no possible sexuality, ethnicity, or other identify — feels left out. This rainbow coalition, however, expects lock-step agreement with its views on controversial scientific claims.
The organizers, meanwhile, have been racked by infighting, and some clear-eyed scientists have warned colleagues to beware of conflating science with political agendas.
Why is it okay?
Because Americans are going to get a look at something we’ve been telling you about for years. And it’s not going to be pretty. Science, more and more, has been hijacked. Rather than glorying in freewheeling debate, it increasingly insists on conformity. It’s in step with the times on university campuses, where intellectual diversity is frowned on at best, or, at worst, drowned out by screaming, sometimes violent young people.
No one need believe us. It comes out of their own mouths. Social justice warriors hit on engineering, educators think objectivity is sexist, replicability is a joke, peer review is demonstrably unscientific… Oh, by the way, Bill Nye, sidelined from a March for being too white wants to jail climate dissidents.
And the serene response from the guardians of science virtue? It boils down to the claim that the public “hates science”: “Never mind the public, what do they know? We are a- marchin’, marchin’… in their faces!”
More serious thinkers among scientists should take heed: If you think you have the right to produce evidence against something the Marchers want to believe, you are in their gunsights too. As noted earlier, any barrel of foaming rage will soon have the right to be a scientist, which certainly trumps your privilege.
Just think, the summary intellectual statement on your life’s work will be the new intellectual battle cry, F[or]k you! F[or]k you! F[or]k you! F[or]k you!
See also: Marchin’, marchin’ for Science (Hint: the problems are back at your desk, not out in the streets)