The organizers of the April 22 March for Science are planning to announce the three co-chairs of the Washington event on Thursday, the culmination of heated infighting about the politics of the march. According to BuzzFeed News, the organizers were originally going to kick off the publicity by announcing Bill Nye (the Science Guy) as the first co-chair. But in the wake of a social justice firestorm over the diversity of the march, they decided to add two well known female scientists to the docket.
The two female scientists are Mona Hanna-Attisha, who helped expose the lead poisoning in Flint, and Lydia Villa-Komaroff, whose work with bacteria and insulin broke new ground in molecular biology. If it matters, they are both women of color.
And of course it matters, because that’s the only reason they are being asked to represent this event.
Since the march’s inception at the end of January, critics have repeatedly slammed the organizers for saying that the march should be about championing science, not mixing it up with politics.
So when it came to choosing public faces for the march, the organizers were struggling to figure out how not to screw up again.
“I love Bill Nye,” said Stephani Page, a biophysicist at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who created the Twitter hashtag #BlackAndSTEM. Page was asked to join the march’s board in February after she tweeted criticism of its approach to diversity. “But I do feel comfortable saying to you what I said to the steering committee: He is a while male, and in that way he does represent the status quo of science, of what it is to be a scientist.”
Oh, and he represents pure evil, don’t forget that. Or does that just go without saying when you use the term “white male” in such a context?
In an interview with BuzzFeed, Nye himself was nonplussed by the controversy. “With respect to diversity – is that the key word here?” he asked. “There’s a diversity committee on the march, and they’re working this problem. I was born a dorky white guy who became an engineer. I’m playing the hand I was dealt. This march can’t solve every problem at once.”
That’s pretty insightful, although a better way to phrase it might be: This march can’t solve any problem, it won’t solve any problem, and there actually isn’t any problem to solve.
Deep down, both the organizers and the diversity critics know that, so they create all of this nonsense drama to hide their inner frustration. It’s exhausting work, denying reality. It’s a damn shame to see scientists – the people who ought to be above all of this leftist insanity – allow their analysis-based work be hijacked by the left, but it’s been happening to one degree or another since the time of Galileo.
In the meantime, hopefully the organizers won’t forget to add blacks, gays, illegal immigrants, and Muslims to the panel, because you wouldn’t want anyone to feel left out, now would you?