For Immediate Release
Contact: Paul Fidalgo
Phone: (207) 358-9785
April 12, 2017
The Center for Inquiry, a leading advocate for reason and science, will proudly join several Marches for Science in cities across the U.S. on April 22, including the flagship march in Washington, speaking out against efforts by the administration and Congress to deny facts and reject reason on existentially crucial issues such as climate change, vaccinations, reproductive rights, and fake medicine.
“We are marching because our leaders have chosen to reject science and embrace superstition, pseudoscience, and conspiracy theories, putting everything at risk,” said Robyn Blumner, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry. “This is not hyperbole. When the president lifts up anti-vaccination conspiracists like Robert F. Kennedy, they put public health at risk. By manufacturing fake science about contraception and abortion like they tried in Texas, they put women’s lives and freedom at risk. By putting the EPA in the hands of those who outright deny the reality of climate change, they put our species’ survival at risk.”
CFI has become an increasingly influential force for the promotion and defense of science in society and public policy. In recent years, it has played an indispensable role in several science-related issues. Examples include:
- CFI’s testimony to the Food and Drug Administration and consultation with the Federal Trade Commission led to new regulations on the marketing of dangerous homeopathic fake medicine.
- CFI’s Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Studies (TIES) program trains middle school science teachers to teach evolution and handle pushback, and connects them with local scientists.
- Directly as a result of a media campaign from fellows of CFI’s Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, the Associated Press no longer refers to anti-science climate change deniers as “skeptics,” but as “doubters.”
- CFI presented a challenge to the climate change-denying Heartland Institute, offering to donate $25,000 to the organization if the Earth’s average temperature failed to rise the following year. (Heartland declined, unwilling to “put its money where its exhaust pipe is.”)
- As measles outbreaks emerged in Disneyland and other areas, enabled by anti-vaccination misinformation, CFI launched a campaign for science-based medicine, which included free bumper stickers proclaiming, “Protect Yourself, Protect Others: Vaccinate!”
- When anti-abortion zealots in Texas sought to cut off abortion access to millions of women, CFI shined a spotlight on the manufactured, unscientific claims of the alleged “experts” presented by the state in the monumental Supreme Court case of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.
- CFI has shined a harsh spotlight on the unethical and dangerous pseudo-medical practice of Stanislaw Burzynski—just censured by his state’s medical board—whose baseless cancer treatments have preyed upon the hopes and fears of desperate cancer patients.
- Through its Secular Rescue program, CFI has helped save the lives of rationalist, pro-science writers and activists who had been targeted for death by religious extremists in countries like Bangladesh.
Publisher of Skeptical Inquirer magazine, CFI’s was founded by luminaries such as philosopher Paul Kurtz, astronomer Carl Sagan, author Isaac Asimov, and illusionist James Randi. Today it boasts fellows and directors such as evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson, science communicator Bill Nye, theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, SETI Institute chair Jill Tarter, and Cosmos co-creator Ann Druyan. CFI merged with the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science in 2016.
“Science has always been under relentless assault from those who find its conclusions inconvenient, leading us into darkness for reasons of greed and power, superstition and dogma, or magical thinking,” said Robyn Blumner. “That’s why we have to be steadfast in our defense of science, reason, and evidence—the values of the Enlightenment that continue to lead humanity out of the darkness and into the light. This is why we march.”
Learn more about wide range of Center for Inquiry’s work in advocacy, community, and inquiry in its 2016 Progress Report website.
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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The mission of CFI is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at www.centerforinquiry.net.