Preparing to March for Science – In the News

Around the world, people who value science are preparing to participate in the #marchforscience on Earth Day, April 22nd, with 517 marches planned worldwide.

The aim of the New Zealand branch of the March for Science is to have knowledge “reaffirmed as fundamental to the democratic decision making that supports society in Aotearoa New Zealand”. The Australian and UK Science Media Centres both gathered commentary from experts about their respective marches.

Six marches in Auckland, Wellington, Palmerston North, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown have been organised, with information on the various marches found here, or on their Facebook page.

The organisers remain hopeful that the march will be a positive celebration of science, rather than an attack on the science policies of Donald Trump that initially prompted the movement.

University of Auckland Associate Professor Nicola Gaston and NZ Association of Scientists president Dr Craig Stevens were interviewed by Science magazine as part of their coverage of the global aspect of the march. Dr Stevens said that “for New Zealand, this march comes at a good time. This is an election year and the march puts science more firmly in the political picture”.

But not all scientists are strongly for the march. In response to Dr Gaston’s original call to arms back in January, Associate Professor John Pickering from the University of Otago wrote on Sciblogs and spoke to Radio New Zealand about why he has decided not to march. He doesn’t think it will promote “effective dialogue with politicians”, but does encourage scientist to “spend a few minutes with their local MP explaining why and what they do”.

Coverage leading up to the march:

Radio NZ: March for Science
Radio NZ: To march or not to march?
Sciblogs: To march or not to march?
Sciblogs: March for Science NZ — Why we march March for Science: Organisers look to the positive Palmerston North campaigners to march for science


New Zealand Marches