Thursday, 23 November, 2017

Cities across Canada joining others worldwide in March for Science

Mike Hodges | 03 May, 2017, 04:17

Organizers said the march "has generated a great deal of conversation around whether or not scientists should involve themselves in politics".

Some of the biggest rallies were held in Washington D.C., Chicago, and in NY.

"We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence-based policies in the public interest", organizers of March for Science said on their website.

All day, the rain never let up.

The March for Science started with about four hours of speakers and musical performances, and as the day went on, the National Mall filled with tens of thousands of people, with more waiting in line to get in.

Rallies of this size are common in the nation's capital. Pruitt has been a vocal critic of the agency, as has sued them multiple times.

"If this president has his way, science is in danger but I think there will be a lot of resistance from Congress", said Elisabeth Johnston, a retired biologist. More than 600 companion marches will also occur around the world. "We want science to be the forefront in our policy-making so that we can stop wasting so much of our resources", said Womboldt. Triggered by concern over the rise of "alternative facts", marchers sought to present a united front, particularly against the roll back of environmental protection policies and apparent lack of support for climate change.

Rahs worries scientists are unfairly losing credibility.

Germany's foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, has endorsed March for Science events across Germany. For him, it's a chance for scientists like him to step out of the lab and into the limelight.

Katherine Mathieson, chief executive of the British Science Association, said she hoped the marches would be a catalyst for people to think about the role science plays in their lives and a chance for scientists to demonstrate the public benefit of their work. "As one woman put it, 'Science equals prosperity'".

Participants also took to the streets in New York City, Chicago, Seattle, Des Moines, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Austin, Miami, San Francisco, Mobile, Oklahoma City, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Paris, Munich, Berlin and many more.

"We're here because there's a disturbing lack of people paying attention to science", said Turner. "When science is threatened, so is the society that scientists uphold and protect".

In fact, the statement also included a line frequently used by those who deny the overwhelming evidence showing that human emissions of greenhouse gases cause global warming.

But the biggest story from the March for Science might be in the signs that numerous attendees brought.

"I'm looking forward to a future in which we can solve problems that we have using scientific means", one protestor said. Jesse Alexander, a former electrical engineer and now technical writer said. "We need social advancement, we need spiritual advancement and we need scientific advancement too". "The truth is we should have been marching for science 30 years ago, 20 years, 10 years ago..."

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