Science hits back: Anti-Trump protest set to draw thousands

Supporters of science and research gather to take part in the March for Science protest in SydneyMore
Supporters of science and research gather to take part in the March for Science protest in SydneyMore

22 April, 2017

Lydia Villa-Komaroff, a molecular cellular biologist and honorary national co-chair of the March for Science, said the problem is not new, and that federal support for research has been declining since the 1960s.

In Washington, the march will feature speakers such as TV personality Bill Nye "the science guy", Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician who helped blow the whistle on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan and Christiana Figueres, one of the architects of the Paris climate agreement.

Until the Trump administration changes course significantly, we must work together to bridge the divide between academia, education and policymaking. "There are other lives here besides ourselves and we are the ones doing the most damage to it".

"We don't necessarily want this march to be a political statement but more of a defense of scientific thinking - looking at facts and drawing a conclusion from the facts", she said.

The "March for Science" on April 22 will not only take place in Washington, D.C., but also in many other cities around the globe.

The Sonora March for Science is scheduled from 10 1 p.m., beginning in Courthouse Park, 41 W. Yaney Ave., and proceeding to the Opera Hall.

"I care about the environment", Thornton said. Several of the country's major science organizations have endorsed the movement.

"#ScienceMarch also represents a tragic lost opportunity to do better than science's racist, sexist, ableist, colonialist, oppressive past", she tweeted. Where I live, up in deeply nerdy Cambridge, Massachusetts, there are March for Science posters up all across the city.

The global event follows the Women's March on January 21 where more than one million people marched across the world to show support for women's rights and express their discontent over the election of Trump who has called climate change a "hoax".

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I do worry about that a little bit, but ultimately I decided that certainly for climate science, this issue has been so politicized for so long, I think it's hard for it to get more politicized.

Were you reluctant to participate?

Now if there isn't a March for Science protest happening near you, there's probably some type of Earth Day protest or event taking place within your area.

Numerous organizers and participants of the March for Science have backgrounds in climate science, and many have been advocating for bold climate action well before the election of Donald Trump. "Science benefits every single person living on this plant, we can not move forward as a civilization without it". "We must capture the imagination of the very people whom our mission benefits and share with them our own enthusiasm for science", they write.

The long-term goals for the march are also a bit fuzzy - though Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the UCS, sees it as a chance to highlight the role of scientific evidence in public discussion and policy. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), which spends $32 billion a year on biomedical research - most of which is undertaken in labs at universities and medical schools across the nation - would see a 20 percent cut, bringing the agency's budget to its lowest level in 15 years.

The March for Science is an action to call upon lawmakers to measure their decisions on evidence-based research and support government-sponsored programs that have led to remarkable advances for our society, everything from life-saving medications to innovations that have improved crop yields.

Some in the scientific community are choosing to sit this one out. Since then, she's channeled her efforts into creating the non-profit 314 Action, which provides assistance for scientists who want to run for governmental offices. "The evidence for what works in the classroom comes from social and behavioral science research; the evidence for how to prepare for the inevitable natural disaster comes from Earth science and engineering studies".

We saw with the women's marches in recent months that you can catch the president's attention.

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