March for Science - Charleston is a week away!
We've filled many of our volunteer spots, but we could use a few more. We would especially like a few more photographers! If you would like to volunteer - or photograph the march - please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Scroll on down to read the vision for the march and to see what each volunteer role entails.
Individual emails have gone out to a large list of STEM and environmental non-profits in and around Charleston. We’ve also contacted all the science departments at College of Charleston, the Medical University of South Carolina, Trident Tech, and Charleston Southern.
MFS Charleston's Culture
During the march, we’d love for marchers to get to know each other. Please wear a nametag with your name, scientific interest, and your zip code (which lets legislators know we’re their constituents). We’ll have some in-crowd activities – for example, we’d like a volunteer at each start location quizzing people on science facts. We’ll have giant puzzle pieces distributed across the three start locations. Marchers at Liberty Square with puzzle pieces will have to find each other in order to assemble the puzzle!
The primary aim of the march is to let our legislators know that we the people value science and scientific discovery. We want our federal scientists, who work for us – paid by our tax dollars – to be able to communicate their findings with us without having to get approval to speak. We value clean air and water – and green spaces. We’ve sent out press releases to get media coverage of the march. Think how powerful it’ll be to have crowds of scientists and science-lovers gathering on six continents! The media will cover the march. We’ll also take lots of pictures (we could use some more photographer volunteers). We have a few cardboard cutouts of famous scientists – we’ll encourage people to take pix with them and share them on social media with our legislators.
It’s important that we keep the march non-partisan. One thing you can do is make an extra sign, and if you see someone with a nasty sign – or even a partisan sign – offer to trade signs, and throw the partisan sign away. I know there’s a lot of anger, but further aligning science with the left will only harm our message and make it more difficult for scientists to speak out. If you see someone like this, greet them warmly. Strike up a discussion about why they march, and listen carefully. Then, explain why it’s so important that the march be non-partisan (see article), and ask them very kindly to trade signs with you.
At a recent event, one of our organizers, Bonnie, took a sign with March for Science information and asked people to write on it why science is important to them. We filled the sign with lots of reasons people value science. We’d like a few volunteers to make an appointment with Senator Scott’s office, Senator Graham’s office, or our US Reps Mark Sanford, Jim Clyburn, & Tom Rice to talk about the March for Science and to let our legislators know how important science is to them. We’ll send some scientists with you for these visits! We’d also love these visits to include some seasoned activists along with some students who might be new to activism.
At the march, we’ll have a table where marchers can send March for Science postcards to their legislators. The postcards will be pre-printed with addresses and stamped.
We’re hearing from a few scientists who are afraid to speak out and who may not be able to march. Some fear repercussions in funding, or in their very livelihoods. We will be their voices. Many scientists will speak in their capacity as private citizens, as is their right under the 1st Amendment.
Depending on the crowd size, we’ll march slowly at just after 1 PM toward Liberty Square at the SC Aquarium. We’ll stay on sidewalks and obey traffic laws. We’ll smile and wave at motorists and pedestrians, and orient our signs toward them. Show the crowd how much fun science is!
Ask a Scientist
We’re very excited about the “Ask a Scientist” Table. Scientists – from many disciplines – will answer your questions! We could use a planning committee member who can help the current team with details, and we’ll need two volunteers at the table.
Keep it Clean
Of course, we want to leave Charleston cleaner than it started. None of us would intentionally drop litter, but, in a large crowd, we sometimes lose track of things.
The Charleston County Democratic Party has generously offered to be the clean up crew. Still, we’d love for everyone to have a pocket or a paper bag and to pick up trash as we go!
In the week before the march, we’d like to plan one (or more) sign-painting parties. We could get some supplies donated, and then have some ideas or even stencils people could use to make their signs. People would donate a small amount to attend the party and leave with a beautiful sign! We might ask participants to paint an extra sign to leave with us to trade with people who bring partisan signs.