An impressive number of scientists, students, and research advocates gathered at the March for Science on April 22 to protest President Donald Trump's anti-science policies.
Protesters amassed by the hundreds of thousands in cities all over the United States, braving the rain and the cold, to celebrate Earth Day 2017 and make a stand for the vital role of science in our daily lives. Many of them really let their creativity flow, coming up with witty signs to highlight the importance of promoting evidence-based thinking.
Despite the event's highly intellectual atmosphere, it was filled with lots of witty fun, as reflected in the array of smart and humorous puns and messages depicted on protest signs in most of the cities that rallied to the event.
A post shared by Jennifer Hansen MacLeod (@jennhansenm) on Apr 23, 2017 at 8:02am PDT
Photos of the creative messages flooded social media, as protesters shared the experience on Facebook and Instagram.
In an era where the success of a pupil, a teacher, a school, and a district are determined solely on scores on standardized tests in mathematics and language arts, teaching science is a radical act. Indeed, when science instruction is available to young children, those children are primarily white and primarily middle class. We must do better to educate scientifically literate citizens. #MarchForScience #multiculturaleducation #scienceeducation #earthday2017 . . #Repost @billnye with @repostapp ・・・ The world wants science to shape policy! A post shared by @byu.multicultural.ed on Apr 23, 2017 at 7:53am PDT
Wearing lab coats and pink brain hats, modeled after the ones sported during the Women's March on January, people took to the streets to express what science means to them and why it is crucial to allow scientific programs to continue.
One of my favorite signs from the #marchforscience A post shared by Kelly Stamblesky (@busylittleelf) on Apr 23, 2017 at 7:56am PDT
Some of the most inspired protest signs featured messages such as "There is no planet B," "Climate change is just a theory, like gravity," "Without science there is no Twitter (Only twits!)," "Fewer invasions, more equations," "Science trumps idiocracy," and "What do we want? Evidence-based policy. When do we want it? After peer review."
The March for Science was planned after the Trump administration proposed and began to implement steep budget cuts to federal science agencies in the United Staes, notably the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institutes of Health.
Biologists, climate researchers, and environmental advocates from major universities, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations were joined by tech workers in what was deemed the largest-ever protest by the scientific community.
According to the March for Science mission statement, the purpose of this event was to "defend science and scientific integrity" by bridging the "divide between the scientific community and the public."
Described by the organizers as a "celebration of science," the march also brought together engineers from many popular tech brands such as 23andMe, Prothena, IBM, SpaceX, Salesforce, and Slack.
"Everything in tech today from our smartphones to the cloud servers that run the apps and services we now take for granted like Uber or Yelp are here because of science," said Amado Guloy, founder and CEO of Rex Animal Health.
Present at the San Francisco March for Science, Guloy emphasized original scientific research was essential to the development of the tech industry.
Andy Frazer, an engineer working for Synopsys, stated that in the absence of investments in science and engineering, "all these developments that we want to improve our food supply, energy, and medicine will stop or slow down."
"It's important to show that we value using the scientific method in everyday life and to advance knowledge," said Shannon McCurdy, a computational biologist and postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley.
Why The March For Science Was So Successful
Unlike other types of protests we've become accustomed to, the International March for Science organized on Earth Day in an estimated 600 cities worldwide was marked by a generalized joyous attitude.
Described by Forbes as a "beautiful protest," the event changed the norm of dull and dogmatized street rallies, and owes its success to the "jubilant approach" the protesters used to convey their message and raise awareness on the decline of Earth.
The march made for a "delightful experience" not only for the scientists, professionals, and entrepreneurs gathered in the streets of Washington, New York, San Francisco, and many other cities, but also for journalists reporting on the event.
How was this possible? Forbes answers: because of "the untiring enthusiasm of the participating masses, the general jubilance of the crowd and the unanimous cause that drives the passion within — the need to save our planet."