March for Science with Biology Fortified!

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The official Pin of the March for Science. Buy one here!

Tomorrow, thousands of people across the United States and even the world will March for Science. As both a celebration of knowledge and discovery and as a protest against political interference and rejection of scientific facts, the March for Science has gathered tremendous energy and enthusiasm, with over 600 cities hosting satellite marches. Biology Fortified is one of many partners of the march, and we encourage our readers and followers – if you haven’t already – to make plans to be a part of this historic march either in-person or online!

I’m going to inform you about local events where we are participating, and finally, explain what I think is important for us to march about, which I hope you will be compelled to agree with. Finally, if you want to help us out we have flyers that can be printed and distributed.

Biology Fortified and the March for Science

Join us at these local events!

Washington DC: 10 am Tent 7, Anastasia Bodnar will give a teach-in about GMOs called “Plants with Superpowers”. The talk is already “sold out” but there may be space so show up!

San Francisco, CA: 3:30-4 pm, “The Scientist is in” Table, Civic Center Plaza, Karl Haro von Mogel will give a demonstration of non-browning potatoes, answer questions about biotechnology, and Guido Núñez-Mujica from the Alliance for Science will show you how you can extract DNA from a strawberry! Karl will announce his demonstration on the Open Mic during a brief speech about non-partisanship in science.

Chicago, IL: 12-3 pm Science Expo in front of the Field Museum, David Sutherland will host an energetic table with information about science and activism.

Madison, WI: 2:30-2:45 pm UW Science Hall/Library Mall, Kavin Senapathy will talk about how “Science Unites”.

More March for Science events of interest!

San Francisco, CA: 11 am Justice Herman Plaza, Pam Ronald, UC Davis Professor and former BFI board member will give one of the main talks at the rally!

Atlanta, GA: Between 12-4 pm, Alison Bernstein will give one of their keynote speeches.

Honolulu, HI: Between 3-7 pm, Joni Kamiya will give a speech about the need for curiosity and problem-solving.

Kansas City, MS: Between 10 am-2 pm, SciBabe Yvette d’Entremont will give a speech at the local MfS rally.

Dallas, TX: Dallas Fair Park, 1:15 pm, FOOD EVOLUTION screening!

Any more to highlight? let us know in the comments!

Printable Flyers

At some of our events, where permitted, we will be passing out flyers. If you want to print and bring some of these to tell people about the work that Biology Fortified does, and our upcoming March Against Myths on May 20, feel free to print them out!

BFI Flyer (4 per page, color)

BFI/MAMyths flyer (4 per page, color, print front/back for two sided flyers)

BFI/MAMyths flyer (4 per page, B/W, print front/back for two sided flyers)

After the March

Biology Fortified will be hosting two webinars after the march, focused on getting started in science communication, and a primer on genetically engineered plants. As part of the “Science Communicates” and “Science Creates” days of action of the March for Science, these open webinars will also be available to re-view after the broadcast times. Check back on these pages for the link to the broadcast events!

Wednesday 4/26 12:30 pm Pacific (3:30 pm Eastern): Start Talking about Science Today, with Kevin Folta and Karl Haro von Mogel

Thursday 4/27 12:00 pm Pacific (3:00 Eastern): Plants with Superpowers, with Karl Haro von Mogel

Watch and listen with an open mind, and come with your questions!

Why I March for Science

I have long been an advocate for science, since my early days in college at UC Davis, when I convinced the school paper, The California Aggie, to let me write a science column – something they never did before. I was spurred into action because of my desire to write and communicate science, and because of unscientific nonsense communicated by a political columnist about global warming. Since then I have spent thousands of volunteer hours writing, hosting a radio show, creating videos, attending conferences, giving talks, conducting interviews, generating public resources, and two years ago I co-founded a movement to take science to the streets to fight myths about biotechnology and more.

One of the main problems I see with the intersection of politics and science is that people from different political parties and walks of life tend to selectively accept and support areas of science that they already agree with, or that have implications that are in line with their personal philosophies. They then reject and sometimes even deny the science when it runs contrary to those values. Conservatives tend to reject climate change, the use of embryonic stem cells, and the theory of evolution. Liberals tend to reject vaccine safety, the safety and use of genetic engineering in agriculture, and medical science – preferring “alternative medicine” instead.

I reject all of these rejections. I live in a real Universe, with observable and testable natural laws, and we have invented a wonderful method called The Scientific Method, that compels us to accept conclusions that are built up from accumulated evidence, experimentation, and logic. To accept science in one field but reject it when convenient in another means that you reject part of reality, and that can be dangerous. The key is recognizing that our shared reality is the same no matter who we are, but it is our values that differ and we should not confuse these values with science.

The March for Science started as a push-back to the actions of a member of one political party, but they have made great efforts to promote a plurality of science and this is something that I can get behind. Join me – join us – near or far, in marching for science – all of it!

Follow Karl Haro von Mogel:

Karl earned his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics at UW-Madison, with a minor in Life Science Communication. His dissertation was on both the genetics of sweet corn and plant genetics outreach. He recently moved back to his home state of California. His favorite produce might just be squash.

  • mem_somerville

    Hey folks: I’d like to collect great tweets and media reports on any of these events from folks on these GMO issues. Can you give me examples? Since I was marching in DC I missed a lot of the action that I would usually catch. I’d like to storify this for posterity though.

  • Karl, given your words: “Liberals tend to reject vaccine safety, the safety and use of genetic engineering in agriculture, and medical science – preferring “alternative medicine” instead.”
    Questioning adequately is at the heart of science and the Scientific Method. Progressives usually, in my experience, are prone to continually try to improve upon the knowledge that currently exists. They do this by questioning its adequacy of approaching the truth.
    Much of science is paid for by profit motive, often at the expense of completing the whole scientific method adequately. Funding biases limit questioning while promoting products too early in the scientific process, before funding a deeper scientific look into potential negative aspects of the processes and products. It is wise to question. It is scientific to question. It is an essential part of ground-trouthing the product production part of the process to have checks and balances in the process. Progressive status and trends assessment is wisely intentioned, but premature product development that cuts short the funding for completing the scientific methodology SHOULD be questioned far more than it currently is. IMHO.

    • Hi Ray, yes asking questions is essential to science, but that is not what I was talking about, and that was Rejection. It is wise to question, but unwise to reject when the evidence is strong. It is right to look into issues of funding and bias, but wrong when that substitutes for an analysis of the science itself and is used as a reason to reject the science outright. Would you defend those who reject climate science and evolution with the same argument?
      Without saying it directly, you have suggested one of the main reasons why my fellow liberals tend to be suspicious of certain areas of science: corporations and profit motive. However, it doesn’t explain the entire phenomenon. Entire industries have cropped up that support the movements against vaccines, GMOs, and medicine, selling competing products that are either equivalent (food/ag) or shams (alternative medicine). Why is this profit motive not questioned with equal ferocity? Either we’re putting on selective industry blinders, or profit motive is just one component of a phenomenon that needs to be understood better.