The Atlantic

Marching for the Right to Be Wrong

What it means to protest in the name of science.
Source: Charles Platiau / Reuters

When I was asked to speak at the Los Angeles installment of the March for Science, a vision leapt unbidden to my mind: thousands of scientists and science-lovers gathered in Pershing Square, carrying whiteboards and graphs, arguing with each other about how to properly interpret the data they were showing.

Presumably the real march won’t be like that. But nothing would be more characteristic of how scientists behave in the wild than a bit of good-natured disagreement. Indeed, the March for Science itself has notably stirred up some controversies—over the fear that it turns science into a partisan special interest, over worries that it has tried too little (or too hard) to promote diversity, over a concern that scientists shouldn

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
Seven Questions That Need Answers Before Any Attack on Iran
President Trump’s threats of retaliation for strikes on Saudi oil facilities seem premature.
The Atlantic6 min readScience
When One Big Cat Is Almost Like the Other
India’s Supreme Court has to decide if African cheetahs could sub in for the country’s long-lost population of Asiatic cheetahs.
The Atlantic7 min readPsychology
The Price of Ascending America’s Class Ladder
Being upwardly mobile can come at a cost to people’s relationships with the family, friends, and community they grew up with.