In cities all over the world Saturday, scientists and fans of fact and reason have come out in droves to support science.
But what, exactly, are they marching for?
We went to the New York City March for Science to ask people exactly what brought them into the streets to march in support of science.
Graduate student Laura Menocal, who studies immunology, said she was marching because she’s seen the value of research into deadly diseases.
“I’ve worked closely with pediatric oncologists and I’ve seen the pain that families go through when they lose loved ones, but research and science gives them hope that one day nobody will have to endure this pain anymore,” Menocal said.
“So to defund science and to cut science is to take away hope from these people and I’m not okay with that.”
Some protesters came out to the march for their children.
“It’s important for us to teach our son about the importance of fighting for any cause that you really believe in. I think that it’s alarming that [people are] politicizing facts in science and I think we got tired of shaking our fists at the news station,” Uzo Aneke-Corona, marching with her son Azeka and husband Charles, said.
Many people at the New York event explained that they were inspired to attend the march due to the imminent threat of human-caused climate change.
“We really care a lot about climate change largely because we are christians and we think that we’ve been put here to care for god’s earth and god’s people. The two go hand in glove,” John Elwood, of Andover New Jersey, said.
“I’m out here today because I know that climate change is real, and I feel that because our current government situation going on, they aren’t going to do a lot to help the environment,” said Lina Petronino, 15-years-old from New Jersey.
“And especially on a day like Earth Day, I feel I should be representing my world and the people that work toward supporting it.”
The Trump administration has been rolling back numerous policies aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions, while also drastically reducing funding for climate research across the federal government.
Many protesters cited the Trump administration’s actions as their main impetus for marching.
“I’m a graduate student in biomedical engineering and I’ve done a lot of research, so for me, this is really important because scientific funding of research is something that I think is really crucial and it affects all different aspects of things further on, so public health and medicine, jobs, things like that,” Alyssa Weissman, who lives in upstate New York, said.
Trump himself has called climate change a hoax, and Scott Pruitt, his EPA administrator, isn’t convinced that carbon dioxide emissions are the main cause of global warming, even though overwhelming scientific evidence exists to show that it is.
“I’m here to support science in the face of the attacks by the Trump administration and Scott Pruitt’s EPA,” Erika from Brooklyn said.
Some people expressed concern that the White House might limit the availability of scientific data online, which is a concern that has swept across the scientific community in recent months.
“I really enjoy science and I have always been an inquisitive person. I appreciate the fact that I can just go online and look up anything I need to know. i don’t want to see that go away,” Lucy, 15-years-old, said.
People are also sharing their reasons for taking part in the marches on social media using the hashtag #WhyIMarch.
All in all, the reasons protesters have taken to the streets today show there is a large group of people who feel their interests have been largely ignored by the Trump administration and many members of Congress.
Instead of staying home this Saturday, these scientists and supporters of science marched in the hopes that their voices will be heard by lawmakers who they feel should enact policies based on scientific evidence, not ideology or emotion.
“I think it’s just to show solidarity with scientists and non-scientists that we would like a society that’s driven by evidence-based research and just have a future that really appreciates the role that science plays especially in the United States,” graduate student Maeva Metz said.
“That’s one of the fundamental things that founded our country and we just want to see that continue through for many generations to come.”
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