Hundreds of thousands of scientists and their colleagues are writing public letters, signing petitions and planning to march on Washington, D.C. and other U.S. cities on Earth Day because they see a growing war on science in the Trump administration.

The idea for the science march began with posts on Reddit, and has now attracted more than 600,000 followers on Twitter (@ScienceMarchDC) and Facebook. The mobilization has stunned many in the scientific community.

Why this matters: Scientists usually stand clear of political fights. They let the politicians, activists and pundits wage public battles. This response was was clearly influenced by the recent women's march, where the sizes of the crowds in every big city in the country were triple or quadruple estimates by organizers.

Although this will start with a march, we hope to use this as a starting point to take a stand for science in politics.— statement from march organizers.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
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A hinge moment for America's role in the world

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Getty Images photo: Saul Loeb/AFP

The world may be living through the last gasps of America First — or just getting a taste of what's to come.

Why it matters: President Trump's message at this week's virtual UN General Assembly was short and relatively simple: global institutions like the World Health Organization are weak and beholden to China; international agreements like the Iran deal or Paris climate accord are "one-sided"; and the U.S. has accomplished more by going its own way.

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New York on Friday reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases for the first since June.

Why it matters: The New York City metropolitan area was seen as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the spring. But strict social distancing and mask mandates helped quell the virus' spread, allowing the state to gradually reopen.

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