AAAS chief puts weight behind protest march – BBC News

By Pallab Ghosh Science correspondent, BBC News, Boston

  • 20 February 2017

The head of the world’s largest scientific membership organisation has given his backing for a planned protest by researchers in Washington DC.

Rush Holt, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), said that people were “standing up for science”.

His remarks reflect growing concern among researchers that science is disregarded by President Trump

Scientists across the US plan to march in DC on 22 April.

“I’ve never seen anything like it in my entire career,” the former Democratic congressman told BBC News.

Image caption A letter of concern was drawn up at MIT

“To see young scientists, older scientists, the general public speaking up for the idea of science. We are going to work with our members and affiliated organisations to see that this march for science is a success.”

Mr Holt made his comments at the AAAS annual meting in Boston as President Trump appointed a fierce critic of the Environmental Protection Agency as its head. Scott Pruitt has spent years fighting the role and reach of the EPA.

Campaigners accuse him of being too close to the oil and gas industry, and allege that he is “lukewarm” on the threat posed by climate change.

Rush Holt says that the concern among US scientists has gone well beyond the usual uncertainty that comes with a change in the Oval Office

(read more).

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