Joseph Gruber/Shutterstock

Watch: This Is Why You Should March For Science in 2018

Science needs a movement.

SCIENCE AF STAFF
10 JAN 2018
 

Last year, scientists and citizens alike hit the streets to march for science. And this year, the march is on again, with pro-science advocates gearing up to show everyone who truly runs the world.

 

Still, you might be wondering: Why should I march for science? What on Earth can a March for Science bring us?

In a Ted Talk, research scientist Brandon Gross perfectly explains why science needs a movement now more than ever. 

"Not only is it good to advocate for science, it is morally necessary for a well-functioning society. And yet, we shy away from these conversations," Gross argues in his speech.

"We need to re-energize the public conversation about science that we saw when we landed people on the moon. Because if we lose those fundamental principles of knowing that our founding fathers valued so highly we lose our foundation of democracy."

Nevertheless, several critics have argued last year's March For Science did more to politicize science than promote it.

Gross disagrees.

"Scientists themselves were worried that this march might politicize science, but here's the thing: Science has never really been free from politicization because of the power it provides," says Gross.

In fact, Gross argues, the manipulation of facts is present in nearly every repressive political regime in history.

 

For instance, Galileo, who was one of the first champions of evidence-based reason, was a victim of political suppression in his time.

It seems - almost paradoxically - the only way to keep science free of politics is to get scientists more involved in the national political conversation.

"Controlling our perceptions of reality is very convenient for political groups to manipulate our opinions," explains Gross.

"The only way to resist this gradual creep of mass delusion is to be properly armed with tools to figure out nonsense."

And science is one of the greatest tools to use against what Gross calls the "gradual creep of mass delusion."

"Maybe you don't think it's your job to be your own advocate," Gross concludes.

"But in a society where the public appreciation of science is dwindling, those who think it's not their job may soon be out of one if they don't speak out.

Watch the full Ted Talk below: