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Scientific Groups Vow to Carry on Spirit of March for Science; Aim to Promote Sound Policies that Advance Discovery and Benefit Society

The Hon. Rush Holt

Washington, DC, April 29, 2017 — The nation’s leading scientific organizations vowed to build on the momentum generated by the March for Science — held on April 22 in Washington, DC and around the globe — by continuing to reach out to the public and policymakers at all levels to promote sound scientific policies that advance discovery and benefit society, according to a joint statement issued on April 24.

“We must build on this momentum created by the marches to more actively demonstrate the value of science to local, state and national policymakers, as well as in classrooms and local communities,” the letter said.

“We pledge to keep the March for Science momentum going, to remain at the forefront of this public engagement of science and to redouble our collective efforts to serve science and society.”

The statement underscored the conditions necessary for science to thrive across the globe: diversity among those engaged in science, global collaboration and communication and a scientific enterprise that is dedicated to keeping the public informed and backing public policies that “invest in science.”

The march brought together thousands of science enthusiasts on April 22 to hear from science leaders, participate in educational sessions, listen to music and show their support for science in Washington, D.C. and in the cities and towns of more than 600 satellite sites across the globe.

“Thousands of people marched for science as citizens and scientists, parents and children, technicians and teachers, workers and retirees, doctors and patients,” said the statement.

“They marched to say our collective future is more hopeful with science – and at risk without it. They affirmed that science is exciting, essential to human well-being and economic prosperity, and a foundation for sound policy.”

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) was among the early partners of the march that eventually drew the support of some 270 organizations.

AAAS played “a very constructive role” in helping organize and frame the march in Washington, said Rush Holt, AAAS CEO, executive publisher of the Science family of journals, and former U.S. Congressman from New Jersey.

“Thousands of marchers and more than a hundred organizations rallied around the standard that AAAS raised,” said Holt, who delivered a speech to those who gathered on the National Mall, despite the rain, and marched to the U.S. Capitol.

“Now the science community turns to capturing the great energy and concern expressed in many ways through many voices during the marches and works to channel them toward the advancement of science,” Holt said.