- Beyond the March for Science
The March for Science is a good step to help raise consciousness regarding the importance of scientific research and development however, it is clear that people will need to continue efforts to support science following the march.
Hopefully, those engaged in the March for Science, and similar efforts, will move beyond promoting the need for scientific research and development, in general, and begin questioning the disproportionate focus of military research and development in the US as well as research aimed at enrichment of private institutions/businesses.
Data from the National Science Foundation shows that over half of the Federal funding for Science is for DOD (War Department) research and development
(Source: https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind14/index.cfm/chapter-4/c4s6.htm ):
Total Federal R&D funding for Science: $140 Billion
Federal R&D Science funding for the DOD (War Department): $83.2 Billion (58% of the Total)
Data from the NSF shows that DOD (War Department) sponsored research is significantly less at universities, but still remains at a disproportionate 13%. Additionally, while the US Federal government provides 55% of the science funding for US universities, another 30% comes from privately run institutions and private businesses (Source: https://ncsesdata.nsf.gov/herd/2015/ ).
Decades ago, concerned students and faculty got together to form groups such as Science for the People and Engineers for Social Justice, in order to promote the notion that Science and Technology should be directed towards the public good rather than towards private enrichment and weapons development. Hopefully the March for Science can lead to more efforts such as these.