March for Science
March for Science movement. The March for Science, a nonpartisan event, promotes science education and the use of scientific evidence to inform policy. As stated in its Mission and Core Principles and Goals, the March for Science highlights and advocates for:
- Science that serves the common good
- Cutting-edge science education
- Diversity and inclusion in STEM
- Open and honest science communication and inclusive public outreach
- Evidence-based policy and regulations in the public interest
- Funding for scientific research and its applications
By endorsing the march, NAGT affirms these principles, recognizes the importance of science and science education to our citizens, stands up for diversity, inclusion and equality in science. We encourage our members to march in support.
Advocating for Science Education is Part of Our MissionPart of NAGT's mission is to foster improvement in teaching and learning about the Earth sciences. The March for Science will engage a diverse group of people who are interested in the role of science in our government. It is our hope to demonstrate the critical importance of supporting high-quality science and science education. We do not advocate for or against specific people or policies, but advocate for science and science education. Our message is not one of rejection of beliefs or ideals, but one of positive support for the role of science and the scientific endeavor. It is also intended to catalyze productive discussion of the role of science in society.
NAGT members can collectively send a strong signal that we support science and science education, including geoscience education, by acting in ways that are inclusive of all people and respectful of different political viewpoints. Our goal is to build strong support for science and science education across all people and political parties.
You can help make the case that NAGT supports strong science and science education by:
- Joining the NAGT's March for Science email list to share or get ideas
- Wearing your Earth Educators Rendezvous t-shirt or some other clothing that indicates you are a geoscience educator and
- Putting NAGT on your sign.
Remember that NAGT is a not-for profit organization focused on supporting geoscience education, and we ask you to follow our code of conduct if you march as a representative of NAGT. If you choose to march as an individual rather than an NAGT member, these are still good ideas.
NAGT leadership considered several points of view in deciding to support the March for Science. First, as described above, we wanted to make sure that the March was for science and not for specific political points of view. Several of the goals of the March are closely aligned with our mission including cutting-edge science education, diversity and inclusion in STEM, open and honest science communication, and inclusive public outreach. Second, we considered the relative damage of participating in what some may view as a political event vs. not participating and thus having a march with poor representation of geoscience education. We believe that it is important that geoscience education send a strong voice of support and be seen as a central part of science and science education. Further, we believe that this is an opportunity to use our voice for high-quality, inclusive geoscience education. If educators are absent from the March, others will define what is meant by cutting-edge science education. There is a danger that education could be equated with an elite group telling people the facts of science and how to use them. We believe the best way to counter that is to demonstrate at the March what high-quality inclusive education means to us. To learn more about the pros and cons of participation read more:
- Mervis, J. (2017) Science march planners, here's some unsolicited advice. Science.
- Achenbach, J. (2017) The 'March for Science' is gaining mainstream momentum Washington Post.
- Frank, A. (2017) Why I'd Rather Not March. NPR: 13.7: Cosmos & Culture Commentary On Science And Society.
NAGT Code of Conduct
As 501(c)(3) organization, there are limits to political activities, especially as related to lobbying. But the March for Science and its related activities are not lobbying for or against particular candidates, elected officials, or legislation, and, these activities are, therefore, not only fully allowable but central to the work of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers. While a 501(c)(3) organization can engage in limited lobbying without endangering their tax exempt status, we see no need or desire to do this in association with the March for Science. Too much lobbying activity by an organization risks loss of tax-exempt status. As individuals, our members can, of course, lobby. However, we ask that members only lobby as individuals, and in those efforts the members make clear that they are lobbying as individuals.
Also in keeping with our Code of Conduct:
- Treat all people with respect regardless of whether or not you agree with their point of view — listen and be kind.
- Obey the law and respond immediately to any requests by officials - promote a peaceful demonstration.
- Use your best skills as an educator when discussing science and science education with others:
- Support learning and active inquiry - engage, don't tell
- Start from others' current understandings and draw on their life experiences - listen first
- Be respectful of others' emotions - fear and anger inhibit learning
One of the goals of our code of conduct is to reduce what is known as the backfire effect, which causes people to hold more tightly to their convictions when those convictions are challenged.
Resources that Address Discussing Controversial Issues and the Backfire Effect
- Duggan-Haas, R. M. (2015) Rules of Thumb for Teaching Controversial Issues. In the Trenches, v 5, n 1.
- The Debunking Handbook, from Skeptical Science.
- You Are Not So Smart podcast
- Kirk, K. (2017) Facebook Comments Skew Public Discourse. Yale Climate Connections.
- Hayhoe, K. (2017) Hayhoe Video: Why facts aren't enough, posted on Yale Climate Connections.
- Duggan-Haas (2016) Fire and Brimstone and Fort McMurray: Considering the Implications of Apocalyptic Rhetoric in Climate Communication, presented at Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, CO. September 28, 2016.
- March for Science web page
- Satellite Marches
- March for Science on Facebook
- Follow March for Science on Twitter
- See more March for Science on Instagram
- Additional March for Science Partner Organizations