Toward an Ethical Science

We are the March for Science Chicago. We are a group of individuals from a diverse set of backgrounds, experiences, and knowledge that has come together to organize around the belief that the scientific community is a valuable pillar of society. We affirm that the scientific process provides meaningful answers to our society’s most pressing questions, and its role and potential in our lives should be celebrated. Scientific curiosity should persist from the individual to societal level through its presence in the government, lab, classroom and home.

We unapologetically advocate for science and all members of the scientific community including the marginalized and underrepresented. We support a science that is representative and principled. We spotlight the accomplishments of science and offer a platform to the voices, often hushed, discredited, ignored or forgotten, that have critiqued and called for systemic change toward inclusivity and representation within the field. These are issues that must be heard and require diligent, deliberate action, and communication.

We will not overlook historical episodes in which scientists acted to the benefit of a select few and to the detriment of vulnerable populations. The practice of science has been flawed with bias, prejudice, and self-interest despite its ideals of objectivity, neutrality, and collective benefit. Science has had an imperfect past because the people that practice science are also imperfect. Every scientist brings with them biases and perspectives of the world that influence not only their own science but the institution of science. When unchecked, these biases influence funding decisions, who or what is studied, and who benefits from the results of research. We recognize that some scientific institutions are now, and have historically been, institutions of privilege with documented issues of systemic bias and discrimination against underrepresented groups. Discrimination in the world of science is unacceptable. We cannot simply march for science. We must march toward an ethical science.

Ethical scientists work toward inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility in the service of all communities. They recognize and learn from the history of their science and work toward a better future. These scientists ask better questions, invite inquiry from diverse perspectives, and produce results beneficial to society at large.

We believe a government of the people, by the people, and for the people should be influenced by a science of the same. Policy and governing are ill advised if not advised by science; policy must be informed by evidence. To say science is not political is to ignore the politics of funding, research approval, and science’s role in history. To say science is not political ignores the voices of underrepresented populations. Our ideals in science are to remain unbiased and strive for objectivity but science affects people. Science can be political; it is nonpartisan; it affects us all whether we believe it or not. At the March for Science, we advocate for policies, regardless of authors written on a solid foundation of evidence-based research conducted in the public’s interest.

The March for Science Chicago is resolute in its defense and support of an ethical, nonpartisan science. Learn more about our strategies to accomplish these goals here.