Scientists Speak For Value Of Truth

Apr 21, 2017

Scientists said they see a need to defend research expenditures, access to information, and using facts as a basis for policy decisions.
Credit March for Science.com

Increasing public doubt of scientific findings is prompting a March for Science in Bloomington-Normal.

ISU biologist Scott Sakaluk says he and other researchers feel alarm as laypeople treat science as opinion-based and political.

"To some extent that's partly because of often campaigns of disinformation. When you look closely at it, really those are often driven by economic interest," said Sakaluk.

Salaluk says science is the perfect bipartisan issue that communities should stand behind.

He acknowledged there is a danger that becoming vocal and active can be perceived as politically motivation, but said the issues at stake override that risk.

"I see just how critically important it is for scientists to engage people and help the laypeople understand issues that are of direct import to the well-being of society," said Sakaluk.

Sakaluk said scientists need to speak in a unified voice to emphasize the health and economic effect research has on a community. Prime examples of public disconnection with facts, he said include the reality of human caused climate change and the benefits of vaccinations.

The March for Science begins in Uptown Circle at 9 a.m. Saturday in conjunction with similar events across the country.

As part of the event, scientists said they will march to support people that work and participate in and around science communities.

"We march to support science for the benefit of all people. We march to keep scientific findings available to the public. We march to protect our food, water, environment, and communities through science-backed policy," said the organizers.