Tens of thousands of people marched in cities around the world on 22 April in support of science and against the rise of populist anti-science and alternative facts. True to his promise, EU Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas addressed the marchers in his home city of Lisbon and encouraged them to speak out for science: “Demonstrate, speak loudly, because you deserve to. Don’t forget we make the best science in Europe and we shouldn’t be ashamed to say we are the best.” He re-iterated to the marchers that his door is always open.
In order not to lose momentum, the offical Science March team has published a set of recommended follow-on actions, including
- Keep in touch with the organisers to see what they’re planning next. Sign up for their newsletters.
- Pick an issue and decide you are going to act on it; there are a lot of issues so work out what you care about most and where you could have most impact. Consider a recurring donation to a science charity or education group you like, or get into more scraps with people on Twitter and Facebook you disagree with.
- Get to know the policy wonks: a test of the staying power of the “Science not Silence,” rallying cry is whether the interaction between the science community and politicians increases. Get to know the officials in your country who care about science, or some of the 67 MEPs sitting on the Industry, Research and Energy committee – they help to decide where huge chunks of science funding goes. They also do useful outreach to the scientific establishment with an annual ‘job-swap’ between the two professions.You could also find an EU civil servant working in your field and suggest meeting for a coffee, or send an email to EU Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas.
- Keep delivering the goods: some people criticize that science should not be dragged into politics, but something everyone can agree on is that scientists’ biggest impact will continue to be felt in the lab.