First March for Science

Worldwide rallies have broken out today in protest of governmental ‘rejection of science’.

BY AMANDINE RICHE

Timed to coincide with Earth Day, thousands upon thousands of scientists have taken to the streets in order to protest against what they view as ‘a global political assault on facts’ (BBC). Inspired by the recent Women’s March, the March for Science is constituted of over 600 marches, largely concentrated in Europe, South America, Australia and the US, with the biggest march taking place in Washington DC later today. These marches have been accompanied by an outbreak of cries from the scientific community against President Trump’s denial of facts. Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Centre for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, stated that the Trump administration’s stance on scientific facts and troubles rivaled that of George W Bush who, not long after assuming presidency, turned his back on the Kyoto Treaty, designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He went on to expand his views, adding that ‘It’s not just on climate change – it’s on issues of public safety, things that impact child development […] We have never seen things as bad as this.’ (The Independent)

Indeed, it is not just climate change and pollution which are being protested about, but simply the general ignorance and disinterest from political factions with regards to the scientific community. The march itself is not even aimed specifically at Trump, though the promoters for the Washington march have confirmed that the current US administration has catalysed the movement. Only yesterday, America’s sweetheart scientist, Neil deGrasse Tyson issued a statement; “When you have people who don’t know much about science and stand in denial of science and rise to power, that is a recipe for the dismantling of our informed democracy,” he said (The Independent).

Tyson perfectly embodies the ideology of the March for Science – it is designed to be global, all-encompassing and open to everyone, from chemists to florists, academics to amateurs. Dr Geoffrey Supran, expert in renewable energy at Harvard University, stated that ‘attacks on science don’t just hurt scientists, they hurt scientists’ ability to protect the people, and climate change epitomises that. When politicians cater to fossil fuel interests by denying the basic realities of climate science and pursuing anti-science climate policy, they endanger the jobs, justice, and livelihoods of ordinary people everywhere’ (The Guardian).  Everyone is involved when it comes to the fight for our future, and seeing so many come together for what they believe is right is heart-warming (insert pun about global warming here).

 

Sources:

“March for Science: Rallies Worldwide to Protest against Political Interference.” BBC News. BBC, 22 Apr. 2017. Web.

Davidson, Helen, and Oliver Milman. “Global ‘March for Science’ Protests Call for Action on Climate Change.” The Guardian. The Guardian, 22 Apr. 2017. Web.

Buncombe, Andrew. “Neil DeGrasse Tyson Says Science Deniers in White House Are a Profound Threat to Democracy.”The Independent. The Independent, 22 Apr. 2017. Web.

Buncombe, Andrew. “March for Science: Thousands March in 500 Cities to Protest Donald Trump’s ‘rejection of Science’.” The Independent. The Independent, 22 Apr. 2017. Web.

[Protesters in Berlin, Germany, held placards in support of the scientific community. Picture: Carsten Koall, EPA Images]

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