Set to take place on April 22, the March for Science consists of a series of rallies and marches held in Washington, D.C. and around the world to help bring recognition to the scientific community and encourage evidence-based policies. This international movement is intended to draw global attention to the critical importance of scientific achievements that impact every aspect of our lives—including food.
In the March 2017 issue of Food Technology, John Coupland, PhD, CFS, president of IFT, writes, “The need to use science effectively to solve problems is especially pressing in issues surrounding food. In the past, we would look to traditional methods of salting and drying to preserve our food; now scientific study has led to controlled atmospheres and other innovative technologies to widen our options. We continue to look to science to solve the problems—both large and small—we face today in our food system.”
However, many in the scientific community are concerned that innovative research will be coming to a screeching halt as new policies in the U.S. are threatening to restrict funding. Proposed budget cuts to research investments and to science agencies like the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency have many in the scientific community ready to join the March for Science to bring attention to proposed policies that are ignoring scientific evidence.
Food Quality & Safety’s own publisher, Wiley, is supporting the March for Science and other activities that amplify the pro-research voices of its partners and reinforce the company’s own continued support for science and scholarship. To help the scientific community, Wiley encourages researchers to engage and motivate the public through “scientific communication,” going beyond published articles, to increase the public’s value on science and highlight the need to invest in science.
“We see the results of research in the science of food at the IFT annual event each year as well as in our local supermarkets, and we should support the people and funding that allow the best science to happen,” notes Dr. Coupland.
The March for Science points out that the movement isn’t a rally against a particular political party. “Anti-science agendas and policies have been advanced by politicians on both sides of the aisle, and they harm everyone—without exception,” according to its Mission webpage. “Science should neither serve special interests nor be rejected based on personal convictions. At its core, science is a tool for seeking answers. It can and should influence policy and guide our long-term decision-making.”
From The Editor