SCI­ENCE NOT SI­LENCE

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY JEN­NIFER HARPER

MARCH FOR SCI­ENCE, DRESS LIKE EIN­STEIN

An­other week­end, an­other march on Wash­ing­ton: the na­tion’s cap­i­tal is play­ing host to yet an­other jumbo demon­stra­tion with an agenda. Make way for the March for Sci­ence on Satur­day, or­ga­nized by the Earth Day Net­work and 170 other or­ga­ni­za­tions that range from the Na­tional Sci­ence Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion to the Union of Con­cerned Sci­en­tists.

Their griev­ances are many. They want more fund­ing and friend­lier pol­icy for sci­en­tists, and less questioning of their find­ings. They want gen­der and racial equal­ity and plan to hold politi­cians ac­count­able “if they si­lence, ig­nore, at­tack, or dis­tort sci­en­tific ev­i­dence.”

The sci­en­tific com­mu­nity it­self is de­scribed as “peace­ful, pas­sion­ate, and di­verse.” It’s a pretty big group. This week­end, there are also 517 satellite marches around the planet, and all of them ap­pear to fol­low the same noisy tem­plate as the re­cent Women’s March, where spec­ta­cle and clever brand­ing gar­ners much news cov­er­age.

“There is no ‘of­fi­cial’ uni­form or item of cloth­ing for the March for Sci­ence. We en­cour­age you to be creative! Dress as your fa­vorite sci­en­tist. If you are a sci­en­tist, come in your work clothes — a lab coat, gog­gles, a stetho­scope, field gear — sci­en­tists work in all set­tings and we shouldn’t limit the march to any spe­cific kind. Or just wear your com­fort­able ‘I’m ready to be po­lit­i­cally ac­tive and send a mes­sage about the need for sci­ence in pol­icy’ out­fit,” the or­ga­niz­ers ad­vise.

The Cli­mate Sci­ence Le­gal De­fense Fund, how­ever, of­fered ad­vice to sci­en­tists and aca­demics who plan to make their voices heard. Among their salient points: “Sep­a­rate your work and private life. Par­tic­i­pate and make state­ments on your own be­half, and not on be­half of your em­ployer. Be clear that you are in­volved in the March (or other protests) as a private cit­i­zen. When march­ing, do not wear a univer­sity sweat­shirt, work-is­sued lab coat, etc.”

‘LOONEY TUNES,’ CHEESY JOKES

Mean­while, Sam Kaz­man, gen­eral coun­sel for the Com­pet­i­tive En­ter­prise In­sti­tute, re­calls that David Gel­ern­ter, a Yale Univer­sity com­puter sci­ence pro­fes­sor, was du­bi­ous about the up­com­ing march.

“It’s like this is some sort of ‘Looney Tunes’ thing. I must be trapped in an al­ter­nate re­al­ity. They couldn’t pos­si­bly be se­ri­ous,” Mr. Gel­ern­ter told The Sci­en­tist, an aca­demic jour­nal.

“The or­ga­niz­ers ob­vi­ously are se­ri­ous. Too se­ri­ous, in our view. Us­ing street protests to han­dle sci­en­tific con­tro­ver­sies like cli­mate change is only a few steps above us­ing an­i­mal sac­ri­fice,” says Mr. Kaz­man, who is col­lect­ing and pub­lish­ing “cheesy Sci­ence March jokes” at his or­ga­ni­za­tion’s web­site, found at CEI.org.

AD­VICE TO BILL O’REILLY: TAKE YOUR SHOW ON­LINE

Spec­u­la­tion is per­co­lat­ing: What’s next for Bill O’Reilly, the for­mer king­pin host at Fox News who de­parted the No. 1 cable net­work amid charges of sex­ual ha­rass­ment in the workplace? Ob­servers don’t ex­pect the vet­eran news­man to re­treat. And they do have some ad­vice.

“O’Reilly cer­tainly seems armed for a bat­tle. He has re­tained ‘master of disas­ter’ cri­sis con­sul­tant Mark Fabi­ani to nav­i­gate his new re­al­ity. What they do next de­pends on how many other shoes drop. One thing seems very clear, though: No one is mis­tak­ing the end of O’Reilly’s Fox News era with re­tire­ment,” writes Michael O’Connell, who cov­ers tele­vi­sion for the Hol­ly­wood Re­porter, an in­dus­try pub­li­ca­tion.

Some sug­gest that Mr. O’Reilly should go the route of in­de­pen­dent me­dia maven Glenn Beck, who was a Fox News host for two years be­fore es­tab­lish­ing his own on­line net­work and pro­duc­tion com­pany six years ago. For­mer CNN Pres­i­dent Jonathan Klein, who founded TAPP, a sub­scrip­tion video plat­form, sup­ports this strat­egy. So does Jon Cody, CEO of TV4, an­other on­line-based me­dia en­ter­prise. Eric Dezen­hall, a cri­sis man­age­ment con­sul­tant, does not ex­pect a mea culpa from Mr. O’Reilly, not­ing that “out­spo­ken, un­apolo­getic clients of­ten weather crises bet­ter than the quiet ones.”

So we shall see.

“Bill has got a mis­sion. He loves the spotlight, and he’ll want to leverage the mo­ment. His ar­dent fans are go­ing to feel the abyss when he is gone, and that is a mo­ment when Bill could strike,” sug­gests Mr. Klein.

GOOD TO KNOW

Well, just in case. A new Ras­mussen Re­ports sur­vey re­ports that 63 per­cent of likely U.S. vot­ers think that Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence “is qual­i­fied to as­sume the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the pres­i­dency.” Less than a third — 32 per­cent — think Mr. Pence is not up to the role.

TAP­PING INTO TAP­PER

“Pres­i­dent Obama was not friendly to the press, but the press was very friendly to Pres­i­dent Obama,” Tap­per says. “I mean, Pres­i­dent Obama did not like me, and I un­der­stand why. I was a pain in his ass and I didn’t drink the Kool-Aid, and, you know, a lot of other peo­ple did.”

— CNN an­chor Jake Tap­per, in an in­ter­view with GQ pub­lished Thurs­day

WEEK­END REAL ES­TATE

Katharine Hep­burn’s “Par­adise” es­tate, a New Eng­land-style Colo­nial man­sion built in 1939 on two acres over­look­ing Long Is­land Sound near Old Say­brook, Con­necti­cut. The ac­tress used the prop­erty as a sum­mer re­treat for many decades. Six bed­rooms, eight baths, 8,400 square feet; com­pletely re­stored in 2005. Liv­ing and din­ing rooms, chef’s kitchen, seven fire­places, den, chart room, nau­ti­cal theme through­out. Two-car garage with golf cart por­tico, private dock, pond and beach; mul­ti­ple porches and ter­races, ele­gant land­scap­ing. Priced at $11.8 mil­lion through 10mo­he­ganav­enue.com.

POLL DU JOUR

● 88 per­cent of Amer­i­cans say doc­tors should be al­lowed to pre­scribe small amounts of mar­i­juana to pa­tients with se­ri­ous ill­ness; 87 per­cent of Repub­li­cans, 87 per­cent of in­de­pen­dents and 92 per­cent of Democrats agree.

● 71 per­cent op­pose the fed­eral govern­ment bar­ring sale and use of mar­i­juana in states where it is le­gal; 63 per­cent of Repub­li­cans, 72 per­cent of in­de­pen­dents and 76 per­cent of Democrats agree.

● 65 per­cent be­lieve mar­i­juana is “less dan­ger­ous” than other drugs; 55 per­cent of Repub­li­cans, 66 per­cent of in­de­pen­dents and 70 per­cent of Democrats agree.

● 61 per­cent say mar­i­juana should be le­gal; 46 per­cent of Repub­li­cans, 64 per­cent of in­de­pen­dents and 68 per­cent of Democrats agree.

● 50 per­cent have tried mar­i­juana; 45 per­cent of Repub­li­cans, 55 per­cent of in­de­pen­dents and 49 per­cent of Democrats agree. Source: A CBS News poll of 1,011 U.S. adults con­ducted April 11-15.

● Cheers and jeers to jharper@wash­ing­ton­times.com

MARCH­FOR­SCIENCE.COM

An­other jumbo demon­stra­tion comes to Wash­ing­ton: The March for Sci­ence is Satur­day.

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