In the past two days. I’ve been interviewed by five media outlets: two television stations, one radio station, one journalism review, and one newspaper. All of them want one thing: to use me as someone opposed to the Science March (I’m not marching for reasons I’ve articulated, this one being the last straw, telling me that the organizers have an ideological agenda and are merely hiding it in the face of pushback). Yet the journalists are diverse in their background knowledge: some have read what I’ve said or written about the March, others are clueless about nearly everything, and one even misrepresented to me the views of another person on a proposed discussion panel to make me think the discussion was “balanced.”
Again, the main reasons I will not be participating are that the March hasn’t clearly articulated its goals, is infused with identity politics, has organizers that are ham-handed and are constantly revising its goals and “diversity statement” (and withdraw tweets!), have appointed Bill Nye, who’s not even a scientist, as one of its honorary chairs (that caused another fracas because he’s an Old White Man), and, mainly, because I don’t want to waste my time on a march that, I think, will be useless at best and counterproductive at worst. This is my decision and I don’t ask others not to participate. I will continue to do my bit for science, writing about it and popularizing my own field, and weighing in politically when and where I can, but, as the old song goes, “I ain’t a-marchin’ anymore.”
My views will be aired in at least three of the five venues (I haven’t decided about the others), so stay tuned for links, all within a week. I’ve spoken in much more detail with some of these folks, so my reasons will be clearer when the shows are aired and the publications appear. I’ve been in many marches in my life, but the goals of the others were clearer, and those marches weren’t riven by factionalism and tests of ideological purity. I prefer to stand up for science on my own.
The Science March takes place this Saturday.