Crowds 'March for Science' in global Earth Day protest

People across the world expressed their support for science and facts at March of Science events on Saturday.

Bill Nye, an engineer and educator known as "the science guy" through his appearances on television, spoke to thousands of enthusiastic marchers in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, declaring that science serves everyone and must be for all.

President Donald Trump said in an Earth Day statement that his administration is "committed to keeping our air and water clean; to preserving our forests, lakes and open spaces; and to protecting endangered species".

But many messages were leveled at Trump and his party, which holds majorities in Congress. Scientists have raised alarms over Trump's budget blueprint, which would cut $12.6 billion from the Department of Health and Human Services, including $5.8 billion from the National Institutes of Health alone.

San Diego joined rallies across the country and even outside of the supporting science Saturday.

Michael Reiter told a personal story of science, relating how he watched the Cuyahoga River catch fire near his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

A live stream of the Washington March is on YouTube and several speakers including astronaut Leland Melvin, Chief of NASA's Astronomy and Relativity Programs Dr. Nancy Roman, former U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith and Bill Nye, host of Netflix's Bill Nye Saves the World are expected to appear.

Demonstrators also turned out in New Zealand cities, including Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin and Christchurch.

Miller didn't consider the March for Science political. "We cannot complain about slashed funding if we can't tell taxpayers why science matters". The Trump administration also has been openly skeptical of the scientific consensus about climate change and global warming.

Harry Price, an associate professor of chemistry at Stetson University, said that the proposed budget cuts would have a devastating effect on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

The marches were meant to be a celebration of science, the role it plays in everyone's lives and the need to respect and encourage research, regardless of politics.

"Environmentalism right now is so crucial because science, the EPA, everything is all under attack", she said. "We're not just nerds sitting in a laboratory, we want to make change, we want to make the world a better place", Rahs said. High-school science teacher Byrne La Ginestra said "we need to. teach people that science isn't a political agenda, it's just facts".

"Since I was a little kid, science was so important, being outdoors, seeing nature", said Rahs, as she fought back tears.

While global warming science was indeed the hot topic Saturday, attendees emphasized the importance of supporting all scientific pursuit that leads to positive change.

  • Carolyn Briggs