To AAAS: Whoa! Too soon and really, it's not about you
Today, millions around the world are protesting in concern for women's rights and more generally, human rights. Some reports suggest the event maybe one of the largest organized protests in history... or at least recent memory as one newspaper put it.
Invited by my neighbor, I joined the Wilmington protest. People of all kinds showed up expressing a multitude of grievances with some shared messages: human rights are to be had by all; words matter; and hate is not an acceptable message or identity. I consider these similar ideas and keys to basic human dignity.
During our local women's march, people chanted expressing the need to "Stand up" for human rights, for women, for minorities, for abysmal incarceration rates and for diversity in sexual orientation. People stood up for their loved ones who feel marginalized by the state's notorious "bathroom bill" and a political rhetoric that they find threatening.
When I returned home this afternoon, I found the above announcement in my inbox. I find it remarkably distasteful...-like "Wow!" distasteful not just simply tacky.
For one of the most elite intellectual groups to try and piggy back off of global concern for civil rights is emblematic of the frustrations many express with the general disconnect between the institution of science and society. I think this so even if one believes such a disconnect does not really exist because well, so many other people do. Indeed, SO many people feel disenchanted with the intellectual and or technological elite there is widespread demand for a broader sharing of power and resources.
Not everything is about science and scientists. Actually, very little really is and the persistent effort to reframe all of society's ills as a dichotomy of 'for or against' science is alienating if not simply, shallow.