Today I went to the March for Science Silicon Valley in San Jose. I had a great time.
I had also gone to the Women’s March in January. The vibe there was fierce, and angry. Today it was determined and a bit goofy. I felt part of the crowd in January, but today… I was with my tribe. I am not a scientist, but many of my friends are scientists or engineers, and I firmly believe that science is one way we can find our way out of the morass we find ourself in.*
The signs were cleverer at this march. There were more puns, more obscure references. And, as one woman I talked to observed, all the words were spelled correctly. I saw at least three people carrying whiteboards, and in one case, changing messages mid-march. I have never seen a whiteboard at a march before.
So, herewith, some of the best signs….
The legal: “U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8: Promote science!” (Actually the paragraph in question is really about establishing copyright and trademark laws, but I still like the sign.)
“Got Plague? Me neither. Thank a scientist.”
“Do you remember polio*? I don’t. Thanks, Science.” (*The best part of this sign, held by high-schoolers, was the footnote — a protest sign with a footnote, I love it — which gave the extremely lengthy scientific name for the polio virus.)
“You haven’t died of dysentery. You’re welcome, sincerely, Science.”
“A woman’s place is in the lab!”
“I am Florence Nightingale — Jane Goodall — Sally Ride”
“Nevertheless, She Persisted (said by every woman scientist ever)”
The appeal to non-scientists: “You need science to Tweet and play golf!”
“Frack Scott Pruitt!”
“Hey, Ocean, destroy Mara-A-Lago first!”
The exasperated: “I have to defend SCIENCE?????”
The literary: “Without science, it’s just fiction”
And, of course, the Scientific:
“Truth ÷ 0 = Toxic Idiocy”
“Keep your [Ti][N][Y] hands off our data.” (That would be Titanium, Nitrogen, and Yttrium.)
Herewith my favorites:
“Protest Sine” (with a drawing of a sine wave.)
“It’s impossible to find a good quantum mechanic.”
“Don’t turn my students’ favorite dystopian novels into coming of age stories.”
And, best of all
“Archimedes had principles; Trump, not so much.”
*It didn’t hurt that the end point was an event put on by Silicon Valley Comic Con. There were enough port-a-potties, and food truck. The weather (cool, not cold, and dry) and the lack of mud helped too.