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Some Ph.D.s but so far no GOPs in ‘March for Science’ planned for Earth Day

Author: Dan Njegomir - March 6, 2017 - Updated: June 6, 2017

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In a season of protests, scientists and their advocates believe that science itself needs some time at the podium, as well. Hence, the national March for Science, which will have its own Colorado iteration, on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22.

Our state’s march will include more than 15,000 participants as part of a planned global event that promises 200 such march-and-rallies nationwide and 300 worldwide, according to a press release this morning:

“Science benefits and impacts every aspect of humanity including healthcare, technology and the environment. The public depends on peer-reviewed studies to help shape policy for the betterment of future generations. We welcome individuals from all walks of life to join those who embrace science, dedicate their professions to research and value the processes that inform evidence-based inquiry,” lead organizers said in a joint statement.

…Colorado boasts one of the highest per capita concentrations of science, research, and engineering institutes in the country including 24 federally funded research facilities and top ranked universities.

“Local musicians, prominent organizations and notable scientists” are expected to join in, and there will be, “a special ceremony honoring Colorado’s Nobel Prize recipients.”

Organizers distributed a tentative list of “elected officials who voiced support of the march at this time,” Among the credentials touted are an M.D. (state Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver) and even a couple of Ph.D.s. (state Reps. Jenni Arndt of Fort Collins and Chris Hansen of Denver) — but no one affiliated with the GOP.

Is that by design or default? The event’s media relations coordinator, Charles Ferrer, assured us efforts were made to reach out to any and all takers, regardless of party affiliation, in seeking endorsements from Colorado elected officials. He declined to speculate why only Democrats stepped forward.

“We challenge folks from all political ideologies to stand up for science,” Ferrer said.

The event’s Facebook page offers this mission statement:

The March for Science champions publicly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for policymakers to enact evidence-based policies in the public interest.

…and this statement on diversity:

Scientists have voiced concern over many issues — gag orders for government science agencies, funding freezes and reversing science based policies. We recognize that these changes will differently and disproportionately affect minority scientists, science advocates and the global communities impacted by these changes in American policies. Addressing these issues is imperative in understanding how recent developments will affect all people.

We must work to make science available to everyone and encouraging individuals of all backgrounds to pursue science careers. A diverse group of scientists produces increasingly diverse research, which broadens, strengthens and enriches scientific inquiry, and therefore, our understanding of the world.

Not necessarily partisan; not necessarily Team Trump’s talking points, either.

Meanwhile, the press release says additional details — including where to meet for the 10 a.m. happening — are forthcoming. We’ll stay tuned and keep you apprised.

 

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is a blogger and opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.


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