Scientists should not fool themselves with the misconception that politics is dirty compared to the scientific enterprise, and they should therefore avoid the fight. Nor should scientists think that by standing back and letting the facts speak for themselves, they allow reason to prevail and proponents of flawed policies to wilt.
Holt wrote the editorial in the wake of a much-discussed Jan. 31 New York Times op-ed by coastal ecologist Robert S. Young, who argued that a science march was a bad idea because it would be seen as political rather than a defense of science. The Atlantic has also found a handful of scientists who think the march is misguided. But hundreds of thousands of science supporters have signed up to volunteer or participate in the marches.