On April 22, 2017, hundreds of thousands of climate researchers, bird watchers, oceanographers, scientists of various fields, and supporters of science march together all around the world in an attempt to call the attention of politicians’ unpredictable outlook towards scientific development.
During the March for Science event in Washington, DC, less than 150,000 people flock together to the national mall while holding different sign boards, some attacking Donald Trump. There are about 600 marches that took place worldwide in every continent (except Antarctica), that happened during the Earth Day.
The March for Science is officially a non-political march. But many organizers stated that science is “under attack” from Trump’s administration, making protesters take advantage of the event to excoriate the president with signs that linked him to different broken and unpleasant things.
Trump answered with a press release stating that his administration commits to preserve the “awe-inspiring beauty” of the United States, while they continuously protect jobs. He called science as “rigorous” with it being critical in implementing his efforts to achieve economic growth and environmental protection.
A common theme for protesters during the march around the world is the continuous worry that politicians have already resorted to rejected science-based policies in the government. Scientists have always been reluctant to be in the public scene. But a lot of concern have grown from generation to generation, and they took the opportunity to speak up.
Hundreds of institutions, scientific groups, environmental groups, and science unions have partnered and supported the march. Some of the notable speakers in Washington March for Science include climate scientist Michael Mann and former United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres.
Apart from the Trump administration issue, the important subject during the March for Science is climate change. The statements of Trump and his top advisers dismissing the issue is a big problem to the scientific community since the President is failing to recognize the existence of environment’s top problem.
Weeks after Trump took the post, he still fails to appoint administrators in most areas of science, like NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Trump does not even have his own science adviser to depend on.
Barack Obama’s science adviser, John Holdren said that Trump “shown no indication of awareness of the role of science and the role of science in government.” The protest is simply not just about jobs and salaries. It is about saving science and saving all of the society that depends on science.
Some are worried that the march will invite attacks by Trump’s supporters and the president himself. But several famous voices joined the cause and spoke to the public to show the value of science. Famous TV personality and engineer, Bill Nye told The Guardian that science is in a dangerous place at the moment. But the march will hopefully put Trump in a better position to decide.
“The president changes his mind quite frequently,” Nye said. “We want to influence the people who influence him. That’s our goal for the march.”
Furthermore, President of the Wildlife Conservation Society Cristian Samper clarified that the march is not for political reasons, but to celebrate science. Science is behind every good and bad that we have in the Universe.
March For Science is celebrated one week ahead of the People’s Climate March. This upcoming march will definitely be more overtly political and is going to be a series of large-scale of events.