Stand up for science: More researchers now see engagement as a crucial part of their job

Author Chelsea Rochman presents her research at the United Nations. United Nations, CC BY-ND

As the first anniversary of the March for Science approaches, researchers continue to reflect on the relationship between science and society. A recent survey of 2017 marchers indicated that nearly all were also actively participating in other types of science advocacy. In the past year, inspired by the call to stand up for science, scientists have written editorials, contacted members of Congress, attended public protests, initiated runs for political office, and organized new groups to support diversity, inclusion and justice.

How are today’s scientists rethinking public engagement? Here, four scientists spanning multiple academic career stages – entering Ph.D. student (Shukla), early career (Rochman), midcareer (Hill), and senior scientist (Williams) – discuss whether society is witnessing a fundamental change in how scientific researchers perceive their interaction with the public and policymakers.

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