Standing Up for Science Over ‘Alternative Facts’


Boston’s Copley Square yesterday afternoon saw a rally of science supporters appalled by the Trump administration’s anti-science embrace of “alternative facts,” declaring their commitment to fight policies that diminish the role of science in American society, deny the findings of scientific inquiry, or otherwise abuse scientific truth.

MIT postdoctoral fellow Geoffrey Supran summed up why he attended the rally – “We scientists want to send a message to Mr. Trump… Neither scientists nor citizens are going to stand idly by while the administration peddles anti-science rhetoric….”  More demonstrations are planned; science supporters in the hundreds of thousands have pledged to march in cities around the world on Earth Day (April 22).

“Science” is not just what happens in a lab, or through means of specialized equipment.  Social work rests on a foundation of social and behavioral science that runs deep and wide, and understands the denial of reality – including the mendacious marketing of “alternative facts” – as a form of pathology calling for corrective intervention.