Sunday, 18 March, 2018

Join us for March for Science on Earth Day

Thousands took part in the march for science rally in Sydney a global event Join us for March for Science on Earth Day
Theresa Hayes | 21 April, 2017, 20:05

The March for Science will take place in Washington and in more than 500 locations across the globe, including Boston, New York and Philadelphia.

The 'March for Science' campaign aims to point out to the public why funding for science is important and highlight how this is now under threat and show support for evidence-based policy and academic freedom both in Scotland, Europe and in the US.

SciCommTo Chair Elliann Fairbairn said in an email: "I am marching on Saturday to stand in solidarity with scientists in DC but also to support the voice for Canadian science here".

The march is meant "to show that people support science and that they recognize the value of science in their lives", said Rich Ribb, an organizer for the march in Rhode Island.

"The wholesale disregard of truth and fact by the president and his close advisers, their devaluing evidence and the scientific method, is so extreme that I can't be silent", he said.

A campus-wide email sent April 13 by Provost Richard Locke and Vice President for Research David Savitz echoed these sentiments. But the march's biggest impact could be on the participants themselves, Monger said.

More specifically, the Rutgers American Association of University Professors and American Federation of Teachers (AAUP-AFT) backing up these efforts with a satellite march in Trenton, New Jersey.

April 22 is also "Earth Day" so why not party for progress?

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.

Sabrina Solouki, a Cornell University doctoral student in the field of immunology and infectious disease, is organizing a contingent of almost 150 graduate students and postdocs to attend the march. "Without sound science, we can't protect our climate, our wildlife or our health - Trump's censorship and alternative facts put us all at risk". Those planning to attend include those who work in science and others who care about its role in public policy.

"I got this middle-of-the-night call from Rush, and it was kind of like being called into the principal's office", Berman says. With undergraduate degrees in both biology and chemistry, I am concerned about the war on science that we are seeing in both state and national politics.

Next weekend's climate march, on the other hand, will directly pressure policymakers to back away from the Trump administration's energy proposals and work on tackling climate change.

Celebrating and advocating for science is a good way to mark Earth Day. "The people who own this (green) technology will end up owning the world just like in the Industrial Revolution". For example, Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., an influential member of the Appropriations and Budget committees, called the proposed cuts "very shortsighted", adding that biomedical research is "part of the defense of the country".

The ASA is a partner of Washington's March for Science, and Lamont said she reached out to all the heads of university sociology departments around the county, urging them to participate. You can also download posters to print from the website.

The march is a response to the "perceived exclusivity of science", as scientists want the general public to understand that everyone is part of the scientific endeavour, Alexander said.

Gotta love it. "Science activists".