Stand for Students, Stand for Science


Since the founding of our country, indeed since the beginning of western democracy, being well-informed includes being well-informed about science. “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government,” said Thomas Jefferson, 228 years ago, not long before he established the first science agency in the U.S. government, the Survey of the Coast, and commissioned the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Today there is a growing rift between science as a way to understand the natural world and the formulation of public policy. We “debate” the causes of climate change; we think that evolution is “only” a theory; and many believe that vaccination causes autism. “Alternative facts” can be proclaimed with a straight face.

Years ago, Isaac Asimov noted, “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

Now, more than ever, the need for science education is staggering and public support for science is undermined by deliberate misinformation and simple ignorance.

The March for Science is an effort to remind the public of the benefits of science and science education. These benefits range from meaningful careers for our children to improving our health to living sustainably on our planet to being well-informed in the voting booth. As educators—and as scientists—we have stayed in the shadows too long and I believe we must move into the spotlight of public attention. A bright light will sometimes expose weaknesses but we know that the only way to repair a weakness is to first see it.

In agreeing to partner with the March for Science, NSTA subscribed to a set of core principles and goals that I want to share with you:

Core Principles – We Support:

  • Science that serves the common good
  • Evidence-based policy and regulations in the public interest
  • Cutting-edge science education
  • Diversity and Inclusion in STEM
  • Open, honest science and inclusive public outreach
  • Funding for scientific research and its applications

Goals for the March:

  • Humanize science
  • Partner with the public
  • Advocate for open, inclusive, and accessible science
  • Support scientists
  • Affirm science as a democratic value

I expect that each of these will receive some exposure at the March. None of these is political in a partisan way. And all of them are what we hope for in a science literate society. 

Please join me on April 22 as we Stand up for Students and Stand up for Science. 

Dr. David L. Evans is the Executive Director of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). Reach him via e-mail at devans@nsta.org or via Twitter @devans_NSTA.

The mission of NSTA is to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.

 


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12 Comments

  1. Nancy Karre
    Posted March 27, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Are there t-shirts or sweat shirts with that great logo “stand for students, stand for science” that we can purchase for the march?

  2. Jeanne Chowning
    Posted March 27, 2017 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    It would be great to have a hi-res version of that graphic available that we could also turn into posters for the march.

  3. Suzie Flentie
    Posted March 27, 2017 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Yes please to both the shirts and the posters!

  4. ed hessler
    Posted March 28, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    What a great statement.

    Thanks very much for the lists of core principles and goals, especially.

  5. Bob Barboza
    Posted March 29, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    The Los Angeles Occupy Mars Band is adding 50 elementary students to its Kids Talk Radio Sound Effects Orchestra. They will perform a custom version of “Gustav Holt’s Mars.” Additional original music has been written for the new youth orchestra. This is a STEAM++ project that integrates physics and electronic music. It is important that we keep music and high motivational science alive in our schools. To follow this and other science motivated visual and performing arts visit. http://www.KidsTalkRadioLA.com and http://www.BarbozaSpaceCenter.com

  6. Stacey Bowden
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    So grateful that the NSTA is getting behind this important event!

  7. lisa
    Posted April 1, 2017 at 4:20 am | Permalink

    Is this logo available on a shirt? I want this so badly!!!

  8. John Olson
    Posted April 3, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Tee Shirts are now available at the NSTA store via http://www.nsta.org/marchforscience/

  9. Elisa CZ
    Posted April 12, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Will there be a gathering place/members’ area for NSTA? Poster Distribution? Any sponsored activities? My husband is in the American Sociological Association and they are also participating – he is getting emails about their plans for the day. We will be there, and I want to represent NSTA as much as I can! My t-shirt is on the way, but I’d love to meet up with others!

  10. irving Wainer
    Posted April 19, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    A letter I recently wrote about the March for Science – see you on the 22nd

    Why I am joining the March for Science
    http://peoplestribune.org/pt-news/2017/04/joining-march-science-2/

  11. TLund
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    I purchased the shirt on April 4 – rec’d notification that it won’t even arrive until AFTER the march! Very disappointed!

  12. Katelyn
    Posted April 23, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    The Core Principles in this post that NSTA supports sums up why I wanted to become a science teacher in the first place! Thank you for sharing list list of principles and goals that I will work to implement within my science classroom as a first year teacher.

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