A Science-led Horizon Seen at the March for Science

March for Science Participants braving the rain to support science

Despite the day-long drizzle that doused marchers, participants in the Washington, DC March for Science returned to the lobby of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in high spirits.  As scientists and non-scientists alike mingled amidst earth-inspired artwork, a latent energy permeated the crowd. The pre-march rally, with notable speakers such as Bill Nye the Science Guy and former US Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, had amplified the desire of the attendees to do everything they could to support science.  But a key question hung in the air: What could they do next? While conversation on the topic undulated through the crowd, a GKI team was helping marchers channel their ideas through a not-so-subtle 8-foot tall Three Horizons poster, which invited them to think about their vision for an ideal future and the impact science could have on that future. As marchers approached, they pondered the sinusoidal like curves that flowed the chart, wondering what the three horizons represented.  Horizon 1 (The Present) was the role of science in American society today – both the good and bad.  Horizon 2 (The Journeys), created a journey from the present to the future by linking the elements of the present that signaled either a positive or negative trajectory toward a vision for an ideal future in which science is cultivated and impactful (Horizon 3). This journey was presented as a list of concrete actionable steps that could be taken to move from the present to the ideal future. Marchers got creative while envisioning the ideal future.  Ideas ranged from intergalactic travel to electing a scientist as President of the United States.  Despite diversity, two central themes emerged: the ideal future would include widespread and inclusive science knowledge and the integration of science into the political decision-making process. This reflects the recognition that it’s not that people don’t care or that they are ill-intentioned, but that science is often inaccessible to much of the population. In Horizon 2, marchers proposed […]

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