This was at the Science is Vital rally, organized to protest planned budget cuts in the U.K.
This was the scene in Ottawa, Canada in July of this year:
This was at the Death of Evidence rally, organized to protest several changes, including budget cuts, in Canada.
Today, faced with the looming threat of sequestration (the so called “fiscal cliff”), which could cut basic research budgets something like 8%, this is the scene in Washington:
I am surprised that American scientists do not seem to want to demonstrate publicly that they are worried about how much funding cuts could hurt them. Instead, I just see the same low level drone of emails in my inbox from scientific societies asking scientists to contact congress and support research funding. But I’ve seen those emails for years, and there doesn’t seem to be any greater urgency this time. Maybe the leadership of those societies is convinced that sequestration won’t happen, just like the capping of the debt ceiling didn’t happen a while back.
What would it take to get scientists waving placards in the Mall in Washington, DC? I’ve speculated this might just be due to geography (the UK is smaller), but there is a high enough concentration of science on the eastern seaboard to make a decent showing.
And I know it’s not because Americans are more restrained than the Canadians or the British.
Science is Vital picture from here, Death of Evidence picture from here.