March For Science Set To Bring Thousands To Washington: What To Expect


Earth Day 2017 will be celebrated this weekend with a show of strength by the scientific community.

On April 22, thousands of biologists, climate researchers, and environmental advocates are expected to flood Washington, DC in the much-anticipated March for Science.

Partly modeled after the Women's March organized in January, this weekend's event promises to become the largest-ever protest by science advocates.

Scientists have resolved to step out of the lab and take to the streets to protest the Trump administration's science and environmental policies, which are seen as detrimental to evidence-based thinking and scientific professions.

To this effect, Earth Day Network and the March for Science are co-organizing a rally and teach-in, to be held at the National Mall in Washington.

Why The Protesters Are Gathering In Washington On Earth Day

Described by the organizers as "a celebration of our passion for science and the many ways science serves our communities and our world," the activity comes as a response to the presidency's proposed budget cuts affecting science programs, medical research, and climate change and pollution management initiatives.

"The March for Science is an unprecedented global gathering of scientists and science enthusiasts joining together to acknowledge the vital role science plays in our lives," states the Earth Day website.

Furthermore, the organizers emphasize "the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world."

The initiative has gathered more than a million supporters on Facebook and Twitter, and is also being backed by more than 100 organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Geophysical Union.

Many scientists at federal agencies are concerned their work may be sidelined or censored for political purposes.

Faced with what they see as threats to their profession, younger scientists, in particular, have decided to take action, according to Andrew Rosenberg, formerly from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and currently a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Witty Protesting

In the early morning on Earth Day, protesters will be assembling at 8:00 a.m., while the teach-in is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m.

"There will be plenty of ridiculous signs, it will be a lot of fun with serious moments too," says Ayana Johnson, a marine biologist and one of the organizers.

The March for Science is announced to be a type of witty protest, with a highly intellectualized tone, wavering from pro-science and anti-Trump. Members of the scientific community will be handing out copies of the Lorax and holding up signs such as "Make America Smart Again" and "What do we want? Evidence-based policy. When do we want it? After peer review."

Some sources even indicate a possible turnout of brain-like knitted hats. Moreover, Bill Nye has been named as honorary co-chair of the event, together with Mona Hanna-Attisha, the notorious pediatrician from Michigan.

Those who want to join the initiative but can't make it to Washington can register to one of the 517 satellite marches taking place all over the world.

The March for Science is coordinated with a similar event, the People's Climate March, which is scheduled a week later.

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