“substantiating the idea that scientists are only old white men”
It turns out the “March for Science” scheduled to happen later this month is nothing more than another progressive experiment in identity politics. It’s like the Women’s March, but with science!
The event is scheduled for April 22nd and there’s already a battle for dominance among leadership. Bill Nye is often held up by the left for his politics but he’s being pushed aside for a leadership role in the march because after all, he’s a white male.
Heat Street reports:
March for Science Organizers Don’t Want Bill Nye as Leader Because He’s a ‘White Male’
The March for Science is having a tough time deciding whether the march should focus on “diversity and inclusion” or health and climate policy.
They were supposed to have gotten their internal issues under control, but this week a new fight broke out over whether Bill Nye the Science Guy, the former children’s television host who considers himself the leader of the “pro-science movement” should lead the protest. The problem? Nye is a “white male.”
Nye, who is not, in fact, a scientist, except on television (he’s an engineer by trade), was slated to be the March’s chair, and an announcement was made last week. But organizers quickly panicked that having Nye at the forefront of the event meant they might be substantiating the idea that scientists are only old white men.
Again, Nye actually isn’t a scientist, but whatever.
“I love Bill Nye,” said Stephani Page, a member of the March’s board, who was critical of what she considered the March’s lack of diversity. “But I do feel comfortable saying to you what I said to the steering committee: He is a white male, and in that way he does represent the status quo of science, of what it is to be a scientist.”
Too bad they already made the promotional video:
As you would imagine, BuzzFeed is all over this:
Bill Nye And The Science March’s White-Dude Drama
As recently as last week, Nye was slated to be the march’s first honorary co-chair. But after a fresh round of complaints that the group was not taking diversity issues seriously enough, Hanna-Attisha and Villa-Komaroff, both women of color who have long fought for science to serve communities it has traditionally left behind, were added to the lineup.
Since the march’s inception at the end of January, critics have repeatedly slammed the organizers for saying that the march should be about championing science, not mixing it up with politics.
So when it came to choosing public faces for the march, the organizers were struggling to figure out how not to screw up again…
These intense arguments about diversity in the march reflect a much broader debate about science itself. The institution that prides itself on its objectivity has always been plagued by questions over who participates in it, who it serves, and who it leaves behind.
“This is a tense topic, period,” Page said. “But part of telling the whole story is that what’s happening in the science march is really what’s happening in science. It’s just bubbling up really quickly.”…
But not everyone was pleased with the march’s attempts to broaden its vision. In response to the diversity statement, famous Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker tweeted: “Scientists’ March on Washington plan compromises its goals with anti-science PC/identity politics/hard-left rhetoric.”
Scientists' March on Washington plan compromises its goals with anti-science PC/identity politics/hard-left rhetoric https://t.co/FY5VvTbS2Z
— Steven Pinker (@sapinker) January 29, 2017
It should be fun to watch.
Featured image via BuzzFeed video.