NSTA Joins March for Science Global Campaign
The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the largest professional organization in the world committed to promoting excellence in science teaching and learning, will be participating in a global campaign that sounds a call for support and safeguards for the scientific community.
Taking place on Earth Day, April 22, in Washington, D.C., March for Science “champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity,” according to the campaign website. The event will kickoff at 10 a.m. with a rally featuring speakers and several large Earth Day teach-in tents on the National Mall and will conclude with an organized march through D.C. streets. It will also consist of 400-plus satellite marches and rallies across 37 countries throughout the week.
The event organizers wrote that science has been wrongly characterized as a partisan issue, causing policymakers to reject overwhelming evidence in the past. NSTA is joining “to support the fundamental value of science in our society,” as well as “help people to understand and appreciate scientific knowledge, the importance of fact-based evidence that is exemplified by science, and the need for all children to have a quality science education,” according to its site.
The organization says the demonstration is a great opportunity for science teachers to publicly communicate the value of science, engineering and technology. NSTA calls on its more than 55,000 members to show support by either joining in D.C. or in their own city at one of the satellite marches. If they can’t march, NSTA is asking teachers to spread the word via social media.
NSTA Executive Director David Evans commented in a blog post on the “growing rift between science as a way to understand the natural world and the formulation of public policy.” He wrote that for too long, educators and scientists have stayed quiet about the benefits of science and science education and now “we must move into the spotlight of public attention.”
He outlined NSTA’s goals for the march as follows:
- Humanize science;
- Partner with the public;
- Advocate for open, inclusive and accessible science;
- Support scientists; and
- Affirm science as a democratic value.
“None of these is political in a partisan way. And all of them are what we hope for in a science literate society,” Evans wrote.
March for Science is a volunteer-led effort organized by thousands of individuals and organizations worldwide. NSTA has joined a growing number of more than 100 partnering organization, like the Alliance for Science, American Public Health Association and the Earth Day Network, who have publicly voiced support for the nonpartisan event.
To learn more, visit the March for Science site.