On Saturday, a sparse population of self-appointed guardians of Science™ showed up in 200 cities around the world to march for it. As David Burge of Iowahawk says, marching for science is somewhat like dancing for architecture, but that didn’t stop the media from covering the March for Science as a massively important event. CNN, for example, led with this glowing line: “Saturday’s crowds were notably smaller than those that showed up for the first march in April 2017, but attendees expressed as much optimism and hope as they did last year.”
What, exactly, did these science advocates talk about? Not about sexual differentiation or fetal development, obviously. They talked instead about global warming and how to achieve more racial diversity amongst scientists:
“The challenges are real for underrepresented students in science,” said Corey Welch, director of the STEM scholars program at Iowa State University. “We have to overcome the reality that few or no faculty share our identities or fully understand our situation on campus and how we have to relate back to our communities. … The diversity research clearly demonstrates bringing all the people to the table — to the scientific table — leads to better ideas, kinder, more ethical solutions, and always a more informed public policy,” Welch added.
Well, no. That’s not actually what diversity research shows. As Robert Putnam of Harvard University says, “The only two things that go up as the diversity of your census track goes up are protest marches and television watching.” But science isn’t Science™! Science™ is about advancing Leftist policy priorities without any strong empirical grounding. And ripping into President Trump, of course.
But titling your little Leftist showpiece a “March for Science” does have the added benefit of allowing you to pretend that those who didn’t march somehow oppose science:
Hey conservatives mocking #MarchForScience. Log out of Twitter. Get off your phone or computer. Power down AC, refrigerators and TVs. Flip off the lights. Stop taking medication or supplements. Pee and poop outside. No driving cars either. Show science who’s boss. ‘Merica.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) April 14, 2018
This is, objectively speaking, idiotic. Opposing a March for Science on the grounds that it doesn’t actually forward science doesn’t mean that you oppose science. It means you oppose benighted virtue signaling that has nothing to do with science. I’ll be happy to give up my cellphone when Mr. Best can show me how marching for science achieved the development of the cellphone rather than scientific research taking place mainly within a competitive market environment.
Like the March for Our Lives, the March for Science is an event titled in a universal way, but organized in a partisan one. Which means that it has nothing to do with science and everything to do with propagandizing.