Attendees from across the country descended on the nation’s capital to speak up for science.
The March for Science unfolded on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, and in multiple cities around the world. Coinciding with Earth Day, the event drew researchers, educators and scientifically-minded people.
The event kicked off with open teaching sessions on the Mall, followed by a rally near the Washington Monument, and then a march that traveled to the U.S. Capitol building.
NPR spoke to some of the participants about why they decided to attend the March for Science.
Brad Slocum, a materials engineer from Virginia, said he was worried about funding for research.
“I think it’s important to stand up to the current administration’s threats to cut funding for scientific research no matter what the field. From the EPA to basic research funding, when they make those cuts all of us suffer.”
Lelah Marie, a former teacher from Philadelphia, said she has two daughters who are both working scientists.
“I think [people] have to speak up. It’s so important that people get a basic education in this country and that includes a good solid science education.”
Marvin Blecher is an professor emeritus in physics at Virginia Tech. He said the march was an opportunity to get out and support other scientists.
“It’s heartening to see people down here today, but there’s a very large crowd of people who aren’t here,” Blecher said. “Hopefully we reach them in some way to tell them that science is apolitical.”
Sally Belcher is a practicing family physician from Rockville, Md.
“Science shouldn’t run a separate path from anything. We all live with science whether we study it or not,” she said. “If anything it’s even more important that the scientific aspect we brought into the political arena because it affects so many people at once.”