The 2017 March for Science was a powerful political statement by scientists. The marchers opposed political interference, budget cuts and lack of support for science at a government level. More commonly, though, scientists stay in their labs and avoid the public political spotlight. CSIRO scientist John Church - who initially acted as an individual (not a representative of his research institution) to "stand up for science" in 2015 - is cited as a recent example of the career ramifications that can flow from public activity. Actually, he's not alone. For years, outspoken scientists have encountered career difficulties and personal repercussions. But climate science and the advent of digital and social media shape how scientists speak publicly about science now.