On Earth Day, thousands speak up for science

Protesters hold placards and banners as they participate in the March for Science rally on Earth Day, in central Sydney, Australia April 22, 2017.

People showed up for the March for Science on six different continents.

The New York event was one of more than 600 offshoots of the central event taking place in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with Earth Day 2017.

Signs at the rally included "There's no Planet B", and "I'm with her", with arrows pointing to Earth.

The March for Science attracted several thousand people in Berlin, and those supporters of sciences have walked from one of the city's universities to the Brandenburg Gate.

"We didn't choose to be in this battle, but it has come to the point where we have to fight because the stakes are too great", climate scientist Michael Mann said.

The March's organizers depicted the event as a non-partisan political statement that promotes the understanding of science while defending it from various attacks.

"Science is under threat more than it ever has been", said biologist Dr. Jess Porter Abate.

Lainie Knox came to the march with her four-year-old son, Xavi Macpherson who was dressed as an astronaut. Knox brought Xavi, she said, because he is naturally curious about the world, which is what science is all about.

But that won't be done in a way that harms "working families", he said.

US President Donald Trump has vowed to slash budgets for research at top US agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In March, he said he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary factor in global warming, a view which is at odds with nearly all climate scientists. I'm terrified he is going to cut NIH funding.

Signs that said "Science - It's inconvenient ..." The fact that it's also Earth Day isn't a coincidence: protestors turned out to rally behind the need for environmental policy that effectually addresses climate change.

"We have seen an improvement on [Canadian science policies] in recent years", she said.

If Trump's budget were to pass as initially proposed, it would likely lead to cuts for scientific research.

Scientists don't want to be unduly influenced by what they research and how they research, and they want the results to aid policy-making, he said.

Within weeks, organizers said, the concept went viral, with hundreds of marches being organized worldwide and thousands of volunteers offering assistance, all in an effort to get scientists out of their labs and onto the streets along with students, teachers and research advocates. "The current (political) situation took us from kind of ignoring science to blatantly attacking it".

  • Leroy Wright