'Objectivity is critical': Philadelphia Science Action wants scientists to get vocal - Generocity Philly

Results

Apr. 16, 2018 11:29 am

‘Objectivity is critical’: Philadelphia Science Action wants scientists to get vocal

The new local advocacy org on this past weekend's #RallyForScience and its mission of public engagement.

#RallyforScience on Saturday, April 14.

(Photo via twitter.com/ConservationPA)

The 2017 March for Science gathered thousands of citizen activists and scientists in Washington D.C. (and millions more globally) in defense and advocacy of evidence-based policy.

While the original marches were partly born out of frustration with the Trump administration’s vehement attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and defunding of scientific research, the newly formed Philadelphia Science Action (PSA) introduces more nuance.

“This was not a reaction to his political party,” said PSA founders via email. “Rather, a reaction to a series of actions that ran counter to evidence-based decision making and impact our health and scientific institution.”

The founders — Kim Beidler (president), Ashley Winslow (VP), Gina Lavern (treasurer), Marion Leary (secretary, who also wrote a guest post for Generocity about the first March for Science), Kristen Kepics (board member) and Roland Wall (board member) — created the org to keep the energy of last year’s march going “beyond a single day.”

The collective of scientists, researchers and policy designers, which hosted this year’s local #RallyForScience on Saturday, April 14, at Thomas Paine Plaza with around 600 people in attendance, proudly bears its nonpartisan badge.

“Beyond [Donald] Trump, this is a long delayed reaction to a more insidious movement in society, a movement towards the ‘death of the expert’ and a decline in the impact of scientific evidence in a public opinion,” said PSA founders. “Our group would like to translate the momentum from marching into sustained action supporting re-engagement of society with science.”

From our Partners

The org’s goals, which include the intentions “to spearhead dialogue” around science policy and impacted social issues and to encourage civic engagement, may soon include informational events for the public.

“There is sometimes a reticence for scientists to engage in activism,” said the founders. “Objectivity is critical to science, but it doesn’t mean that scientists cannot speak about the data and for the data. We feel it is important that there be more direct communication and that this communication become commonplace.”

Crowd of science supporters at #RallyForScience.

#RallyForScience. (Photo by George Manos)

PSA’s plan for the immediate future is to focus on expansion of diversity, both internally and externally, because its founders acknowledge the lack thereof within the science community.

“We are determined to increase access to STEM/STEAM for all Philadelphians,” said PSA founders. “We are looking to identify partners, as we don’t want to re-create the wheel, but will promote and support great work that’s already being done, and find opportunities for collaboration.”

The following were speakers at the 2018 Rally for Science:

  • Dr. Walter Tsou, president, Philadelphia Physicians for Social Responsibility; former health commissioner, City of Philadelphia
  • Laura Guertin, professor of earth science, Penn State Brandywine; writer on geoscience education for the American Geophysical Union
  • Patrick Callahan, cofounder, CompassRed
  • Josh McNeil, executive director, Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania
  • Halle Van der Gaag, manager, Delaware River programs, National Wildlife Federation
  • Monica Taylor, assistant professor and director, exercise physiology, Department of Kinesiology, Samson College of Health Science, University of the Sciences
  • Steve Luxton, executive director, Energy Coordinating Agency
  • Andrew Javier Matamoros, Ph.D. Candidate, Drexel University College of Medicine; senior city coordinator for Taste of Science
-30-
LEAVE A COMMENT

From our Partners

On the Market: 14 job openings across the nonprofit sector

Our 2020 holiday gift guide takes you on a jaunt around Philly

Power Moves: Jessica West will lead Neighborhood Bike Works

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

During Tech in Action Day, all the participants teach and learn

Philadelphia, PA

Healthcare Improvement Foundation

President

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Works

Grant Writer

Apply Now
1617 JFK Blvd., Suite 1200, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Support Center for Child Advocates

CHILD ADVOCATE SOCIAL WORKER

Apply Now

Graphic explainer: A cartoonist unpacks the 2020 census

How we use participatory, community budgeting in our emergency shelter

Today is #GivingTuesday! Here are 60 local nonprofit campaigns for you to support

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

ECS has been tackling Philly’s social issues for nearly 150 years. Now, its new focus is intergenerational poverty

Philadelphia

Planned Parenthood Southeastern PA

Institutional Giving Coordinator

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Community Legal Services, Inc

STAFF ATTORNEY – LANGUAGE ACCESS AND IMMIGRANT ADVOCACY

Apply Now
Philadelphia

Eluna

Accounting & Grants Coordinator

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Generocity