Science rallies around the world draw thousands

Standing on the National Mall with thousands soaked by rain Saturday, Mann said that like other scientists, he would rather be in his lab, the field or teaching students.

Besides the Washington march, organizers said there are 609 "satellite" marches across the United States and across the world in a protest timed to coincide with Earth Day.

"We're gathered here today to fight for science", the Washington Post reported science communicator Cara Santa Maria told the crowd gathered April 22 at the March for Science rally in Washington, D.C.

March for Science is being coined by its organizers as political but nonpartisan. "I think part of the problem is that people don't care. The current administration has shown complete disregard for facts and the truth", Peter Lipke, who was among the marchers in NY, told The Independent.

Many scientists have been grilled on just how much humans have affected the climate. But the mingling of the activist community and the science community, which often tries to distance itself from politics, has produced a specific kind of public fragmentation.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday's marches but Trump released a statement promoting his administration's steps to guard against pollution while minimizing limits on industry.

"Science is really important, and the current administration is making decisions that are counter to climate change, genetically modified food and vaccinations", Wright, 38, told CNN. All that works against science and we need to work for science. Overseas, people are due to rally in support of science from Australia to Brazil.

Valentine said institutional racism and negative attitudes toward affirmative action programs - particularly the pervasive belief that minority students and professionals hadn't "earned" their place on the basis of accomplishment - burdened minorities in the sciences with the sense that they are imposters.

"You're on the right side", one speaker told the crowd of almost 1,000 people gathered outside the statehouse, before condemning "those who resist science and seek to tear down environmental protection". Previous marches and protests have focused on a range of partisan issues, from abortion rights to immigration policy. And that seems to be galvanizing people in a way it never has before. Participants will walk about seven blocks to City Hall for more speeches, then return to Pershing Square for presentations on air quality, dinosaurs and how to spot "alternative facts" on the Internet. At the same time, others will be focusing on science's failure to resist certain broader social problems.

Lelah Marie, a former teacher from Philadelphia, said she has two daughters who are both working scientists.

Cities across Canada are also participating in the march, including the country's capital, Ottawa.

In Washington, speakers included Bill Nye, an educator and television personality known as "the Science Guy", and Mona Hanna-Attisha, a paediatrician and public health advocate who first called attention to the high levels of lead in the drinking water of Flint, Michigan.

In Los Angeles, Danny Leserman, the 26-year-old director of digital media for the county's Democratic party, said "We used to look up to intelligence and aspire to learn more and do more with that intellectual curiosity".

  • Larry Hoffman