Sunday, April 30, 2017

Why I didn't #MarchForScience

Last month, on Earth Day (of course), cities across the US (and, for some reason, around the world) saw scientists and others marching on a weekend, 'for Science,' whatever that means. It was billed as an apolitical show of force from the scientific community in favor of scientific thinking, facts, and of course, funding for scientific research, all of which are commendable. A lot of my friends and relatives participated in it, or at the very least cheered it on at home. I didn't, and won't. Why? Because #MarchForScience was anything but an apolitical show, it was not about facts or scientific thinking: it was yet another attempt by the Left to hijack the academic community, this time the one committee where they have the least influence: STEM.

#MarchForScience was a very political march against Donald Trump and the Republican Party in general. It blended the new demigod of the Left - climate change - with other pet issues such as gender, refugees, feminism, etc. There was no scientific discussion in it, no papers, no experiments, no facts: just a lot of empty sloganeering. It did have real scientists in it, but they were not there as scientists, rather as citizens making a political point. And they are entitled to their protests and politics, but the hypocrisy of it all was that it was billed as an apolitical event, which is most definitely was not.

Why didn't I participate? Because I don't think scientists should get involved with politics of any party. This is not because of the fear that taking a stand against the establishment hurts chances for funding (although it does) - facts and data have their own sanctity and should not become subject to political favoritism. The reason is because the effects of giving the Left any leadership in academia are there for all to see: in the humanities, the Left has total and unchallenged dominance, and it is there that the most regressive ideas originate: safe spaces, the hijab as a source of freedom, nationalism as a dirty word, and the invention of an entire dictionary of terms that, much like George Orwell's 1984, makes language itself a pawn in a larger political game.

Those who participated in the marches, for whatever reason, possibly do not realize the danger of selling their science to the goons of the Left, for they are not interested in facts, but in using those facts to push an agenda. For, the first piece of data that opposes that agenda (and we all know that data can oppose a hypothesis at any point of time) will see the same scientists being placed before a firing squad. Do we forget that science had to favor the proletariat for it to be real science in the Soviet Union?

I refuse to participate in any movement that uses science to further a political agenda, and I encourage my fellow scientists to do the same. That said, every citizen in a democratic society has the right, and arguably even the duty, to express their opinions, however unpopular those might be. But don't use science to do it - if your convictions are true, and they are important enough for you, then you do not need to hide them behind science. As for the Leftists who talk about climate change without knowing how a spectroscope works - keep your lunacy in the humanities, you have already destroyed that beyond repair. #NotInMyDepartment. 

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