We have launched an ad hoc emergency initiative from – and reaching out to – scientists in various fields, science educators, science writers, etc. Coming from a diversity of perspectives, we are extremely concerned about the current attack on science, including on its very foundation in scientific method and thinking. Our goal is to mobilize scientists and issue this public call, "Defend Science," whose purpose is nothing less than to bring society wide attention to the real issues and the real stakes.

We launched the Defend Science website in the summer of 2005 and at that time started to circulate the Defend Science Statement broadly.
What happens to money contributed to Defend Science?
We have an all-volunteer core (we have no paid staff at this point), and we actively reach out to and try to involve many more. All money we raise goes directly to the projects of Defend Science. We are not ourselves a 501(c)(3) organization (a non-profit corporation) - but we are able to accept tax-deductible donations because we are fiscally sponsored by a non-profit organization, The Institute for the Study of Natural & Cultural Resources.
What kind of organization is Defend Science?
From our start as a kind of network based largely on the website, we have moved toward a more developed organization. We formed an advisory board in the spring of 2007. We have gotten extremely helpful advice from many people (many scientists, but also many other friends of science). Our thinking and plans are a result of much discussion and consultation.
What are the current plans and projects of Defend Science?
While we have held several forums, and other smaller projects, our main focus at this time is getting the Defend Science Statement out into society in every way we can, and we are aiming to utilize paid newspaper ads as a key way to do this.
As we have gone out into the world with the Defend Science Statement and discussed its content with many people, we have come to understand more deeply that many, many scientists are agonizing over the attacks on science, what this means and how to respond to them. There are many important questions involved in this - including many big questions in no way unique to scientists. We feel that one basic point is clear - while many can, and should, speak against the attacks on science and scientific thinking, it makes a critical difference that scientists themselves are heard, and powerfully.
Some have raised that being a scientist means focusing intensely on hard and complex problems, and see this as a barrier to acting on even deeply felt desires to speak out and act in relation to what is going on with science today. We see the form of a published, signed statement as one way in which scientists and other friends of science can reach many more people with the crucial message contained in the Defend Science Statement - and particularly the broader population which in many cases has little contact with scientists. And the Statement also provides an avenue for those who are able and willing to do more. They can contribute financially, help spread the statement to their friends and colleagues, and also help in other ways.
What is our vision and larger plans beyond ads in major news media?
Our longer-term thinking revolves around what it will take to defeat the concerted and determined attack on science and scientific thinking which is gone into in the Defend Science Statement. We see that there has to be a kind of political battle over this, which includes many elements - education, promotion of understanding of science and the scientific method, battling over a whole range of policy questions (and all this is linked to what goes on politically and culturally in society overall). One way of looking at this whole front of the attacks on science is that we are engaged in a political battle over how people think. And right now, it is urgent to challenge and oppose the attacks on science centered in the Bush administration. One analogy we have talked about is the role of Huxley - "Darwin’s bulldog". After Darwin published his theory of evolution, Huxley had to enter into a real fight among scientists to win them over to the theory of evolution. We feel there is a need for such "bulldogs" now - to wage the fight to defend scientific thinking and method in society broadly.
How can we defeat the attacks on science?
We think that an important part of what is needed, and the particular role of Defend Science in the context of many different kinds of efforts by many people, is building a kind of "movement from two sides" in defense of science - from scientists on the one side, and from the broader public on the other. We think that Defend Science should see its contributions in this context. And we expect to work with other organizations at part of this. Our current plans for running the Statement in major news media serves this "movement from two sides". Ultimately, defeating the attacks on science is bound up with larger political changes in society.
Why reach out to the broader public? What can we accomplish?
One member of Defend Science wrote: "last spring I traveled to Anaheim, CA for the National Science Teachers' Association convention. This was occurring right on the heels of the Dover, PA decision against ID. We and Defend Science got a very warm welcome from hundreds of the high school teachers there and many have signed the statement - but along with that we often got an earful along the lines of: ‘...it's about time you academics came down out of your ivory tower and helped us! We're out here in the localities catching hell from ID and other more crude forms of creationists. Many of us are being intimidated into not teaching evolution. For every victory like Dover there are scores of school boards, state boards, etc getting bombarded...’"
Running the Defend Science Statement in major news media will enable scientists to speak broadly to the population - to speak to those who are the targets of these attempts to deny science education, to deny access to scientific knowledge and scientific thinking. Running the ad in major news media will greatly help people like the teachers we talked to in Anaheim - it will show them that they are not isolated, that the scientific community supports them, and will encourage and strengthen their own efforts, and, we hope, it will encourage many to become part of a kind of movement to Defend Science. And there are other readers  who are perhaps less clear or knowledgeable about the importance of science, but who do recognize science as a crucial part of modern life. We think that these people are going to be jolted by the Statement, in a good way. It will sound an alarm and raise some big questions about what is going on, and why, and what this means. It will spark thinking about all kinds of questions - and without this kind of broad outreach and ferment, we cannot win the battle to defend science.
How does Defend Science plan to build off of the initial ad?
Concretely, off of the initial ad (and related work we do including media to make the ad more broadly known) we expect many people will be contacting Defend Science. Some will make financial contributions. Others will want to know "how to join" and what they can do. And some will raise disagreements with the ad and want to engage in debates.
We are now strengthening Defend Science as an organization so that we can respond to this - we want to help to build up a "movement in defense of science". While we anticipate that there will be an important role for the Defend Science Statement for some time to come, we also want to be able to link some people up with other important efforts. We also hope to build through this a network which will both keep us informed of different things going on in different parts of the country, and which will suggest ways that people can act - creative use of the Defend Science statement, letters to the editor, helping to support teachers under fire for teaching evolution, joining in different national campaigns to help defend science.

We ask you to read this "Defend Science" statement closely, sign, circulate and help in our effort to publish this statement in major, mass distribution newspapers and in journals here in the U.S, as well as around the world.

You can email us at:

Our mailing address is:
Defend Science
2124 Kittridge St. #182
Berkeley CA 94704

Michael Hadfield, Professor of Zoology, University of Hawaii Kevin Padian, Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley and president National Center for Science Education
Stephen Palumbi, Professor of Biological Sciences, Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University
Theodore A. Postol, Prof. of Science, Technology, and National Security Policy, MIT
David Seaborg, evolutionary biologist, World Rainforest Fund
Andrew Sessler, Former President of the American Physical Society, member of the National Academy of Sciences

You can sign the Statement on this website. Just click here to add your name to the growing list.

Join in the battle to defend science!

Scientists and Members of the Scientific Community:

• Sign and Circulate This Statement.
• Help Raise Funds to Have it Printed in Newspapers Across the Country, and Internationally.
• Get This Statement Adopted by Scientific, Educational and Other Associations and Institutions.

Members of the General Public:

Reprint and Circulate This Statement, Help Spread the Word, Contribute Your Ideas About How to Wage This Crucial Battle & Join With People in the Scientific Community and Others to Wage This Battle.
• Help raise funds to print the Statement in as many newspapers and journals as possible, in the U.S. and internationally.


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