Thousands brave rain at Washington science march

Reporters challenged him, prompting Conway to respond that the administration gave "alternative facts".

Leslie Paul is living out her childhood dream of being a scientist, but the cancer researcher is anxious her lab's funding may dry up under the Trump administration.

The rally is set for 10 the Washington Monument and will feature dozens of short speeches and videos, said Kathleen Rogers, president of the Earth Day Network. "If anything it's even more important that the scientific aspect we brought into the political arena because it affects so many people at once". That said, he added, the Trump administration's dismissive attitude toward climate change, and its efforts to roll back multiple Obama-era environmental regulations, have added fuel to the movement's urgency.

Alex Bradley, lead organizer of the Los Angeles march, says "evidence-based facts matter and should drive our policy decision-making".

"They are saying that any politician who tries to undermine science, ruin trust in science, or politically motivate funding of science, particularly climate change, is a risk and they want to speak out against that". It also includes the National Library of Medicine, a resource for researchers around the world, and the NIH Clinical Center, the world's largest clinical research hospital created to bridge laboratory work, patient studies and bedside cures, according to the NIH website.

The marches, held on Earth Day, took place in cities around the world.

"When the first time in recorded history scientists have to get together to form a march in support of science, something serious is going on", Jarvis says.

The Washington event featured speakers and several large teach-in tents on the National Mall where scientists, educators and leaders from a variety of disciplines discussed their work, effective science communication strategies and training in public advocacy. "We can not have a democratic society either because we need to know what's going on in order to come up with appropriate types of policies".

Fears that science is under political assault in Australia have likewise grown under its current conservative government and demonstrators also turned out in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and other cities as well as Wellington and Auckland in New Zealand. A notable early criticism came from Professor Robert Young of Western Carolina University, who penned a Washington Post op-ed calling the march a "bad idea", because it would further contribute to the politicization of science. "We need to listen to the smart people, the scientists".

Foote said participants included a teacher, the father of a burgeoning scientist and students studying biology. "This moment is bigger than the scientific community". In Ottawa, organizers scheduled a march on Parliament Hill.

The march is being held to express the need for "robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity", the group's website says.

And she hoped the crowds at hundreds of cities across the country draw attention to the perils of ignoring science funding.

"We all use science every single, solitary day ... it's in the air we breathe, the water we drink, our ability to have the medical technology that saves lives", Palmer said.

  • Leroy Wright