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
China Is Cutting Tariffs—For Everyone Else
Lobster is Maine’s top export. Like many Americans with something to sell, Maine’s trappers benefited from positive turns in China’s economic development. The movement of tens of millions of people out of poverty and into the middle class increased d
The Atlantic3 min read
The Adam Sandler Netflix Experiment Continues With Murder Mystery
The star’s latest movie is familiar, formulaic, and mildly amusing—making it a perfect fit for the streaming service.
The Atlantic13 min read
The Surreal End of an American College
Small schools across the United States are facing budget shortfalls and low enrollment—leading some to shut down in the middle of students’ higher-education experience.