By Charlotte Alter
April 12, 2017

The scientific journal Nature has endorsed the March for Science, scheduled to take place on April 22 in support of the importance of science in policy-making.

In a rare show of support for a political protest, the editorial board of the most highly cited research journal signed on to endorse the March for Science, urging readers to put aside their criticisms of the internal divisions of the March and join the protest to defend the scientific community against proposed budget cuts and increasing public skepticism of science.

The March for Science is scheduled to take place on April 22 in Washington, D.C., and at least 514 other cities around the world. The March aims to demonstrate public support for the scientific community, reject research budget cuts, and advocate for science as a democratic virtue.

“We encourage readers to get involved, to show solidarity and to speak out about the importance of research and evidence — not just next weekend, but more often and more forcefully,” the editors of Nature wrote. “These worldwide protests give scientists an opportunity to think hard about what they value about science, to recognize the commonalities in the goals they share with others and to reaffirm the scientific process as the best way of informing policy — even if it won’t always get the final say.”

The March is off to a controversial start, with internal divisions about scientific diversity (many are reportedly concerned that the March could end up very white and male, just like the scientific community) clashing with concerns about politicizing science. But the editors of Nature, which was founded in 1869, urged their readers to show up anyway.

“Yes, there is a risk, as critics claim, that the march and the wider protest it hopes to symbolize could be diluted or even sidetracked by any number of special interests. Yet there is a straightforward solution for scientists who are concerned about this: turn up and shout louder about what you think matters more,” they wrote. “Despite internal wrinkles, the positive message that crowds of pro-science people on the streets present to the broader world will surely show through.”

There are several other major demonstrations against Trump in April, including the Tax March on April 15 and the People’s Climate March on April 29.

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