March for Science – Earth Day 2017

Phoenix – March for Science April 22, 2017

I was invited by the American Physical Society (APS) to join them for their April Council Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona on 22 April 2017.  As the meeting coincided with the March for Science, the APS Council headed en masse into downtown Phoenix in 309 K weather to show our support for science, to encourage investment in science and to identify the importance of the scientific method and training in STEM to society.

Speakers from many backgrounds, including Laura Greene, the APS president (who is an invited speaker at the CAP Congress in May/June) spoke to an enthusiastic and supportive crowd outside the Phoenix City Hall. Following the speeches, the APS Council members (and myself) replete in APS Caps and “Physicists March for Science” T-shirts, took to the streets with a diverse and inclusive throng, to the chant of “Science not Silence.” While the APS Physics Executive tried to ensure that their message was apolitical, it was clear that many of the speakers and marchers had other opinions, as their (often cleverly worded) posters illustrated.

The march in Phoenix was not as large as that in Washington or other major cities around the globe. However it allowed us to spend two hours focussing on the importance of demonstrating the value of science to the general population and politicians of all parties, and for me to get to know many new APS colleagues from around the world.

Stephen Pistorius

CAP – Vice President