Why I March – Monique Smith

 Rex M. Mananquil Photography http://www.photographybyrex.com

Rex M. Mananquil Photography
http://www.photographybyrex.com

Now more than ever we need to raise our voices and stand up for science. I march to advocate for accessible, understandable, high quality science for everyone.

The very concept and existence of science in this country is being threatened, and we all need to work hard to ensure a better future for the next generation. Science is a tool to better understand our world, a way for our governments to create evidence based policies, and a process for uncovering facts rather than relying on opinions.

I march because it is essential that scientists are free to openly communicate their research, and, as scientists, we need learn to communicate in a manner that makes science understandable and engaging. By increasing the accessibility of science in these ways, we can eliminate its associated elitist stigma, thereby encouraging a broader influx of diverse people to pursue scientific careers. I march for more diversity in science, which will lead to better science and ultimately benefit the human race and the planet as a whole.

Scientists also need funding to conduct high quality research and continue their careers. In the U.S. enormous cuts are being proposed across many scientific institutes (such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institutes of Health), cuts which are so vast that my career in academia could be over- after working at it for almost 15 years. Such cuts would also be devastating for public health, the environment, technological advancement, the economy, education and so much more. I march because I won’t stand by and let this happen.

There are more than 400 cities participating in the Global March for Science movement to stand up for these goals. This March is a way to initiate this public discussion and propel a movement forward into a future where science informs all of our opinions and policies.

I implore all of you to speak out for science and March with us at 11 AM on April 22, 2017.

Monique Smith is a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University and one of the organizers of March for Science San Francisco.