Partisan Washington politics have pushed scientists to speak for themselves. Several cities will hold demonstrations next month as part of the March for Science. An organizer of the Hartford, Connecticut, demonstration hopes the march will restore the objectivity of science.
Harrison Hayward, a fourth-year medical student at the University of Connecticut, says science is not a partisan issue. He says it should not be used as a way to divide politicians or the public.
“As some politicians are using science in one way, and others are using it in another way, both sort of – whether intentionally or unintentionally – politicizing it...what we’re trying to do is bring it back to the center so it’s not an issue like that.”
Hayward says science is an important player in policymaking. He says it’s especially critical for issues like healthcare, food safety and climate.
“What’s really important is that policy regarding all of these things is evidence-based. And that’s why science is not a partisan issue. Because it’s through this evidence, uncovered by professionals who respect the scientific method, that policy can be created.”
Hayward does not expect ideologies or policies to change overnight. But he says a more vocal scientific community might have the power to affect politics as usual.