Monday, May 1, 2017

March for Science

Two weekends ago, people all over celebrated Earth Day, and many participated in the March for Science in Washington, DC. So what is the March for Science? The March for Science is a celebration of science and the role that science plays in our everyday lives. The March for Science website says, “Science protects the health of our communities, the safety of our families, the education of our children, the foundation of our economy and jobs, and the future we all want to live in and preserve for coming generations”. The march was in part motivated by proposed cuts to science funding under the current administration.  For example, President Donald Trump plans to cut $12.6 billion from the Department of Health and Human Services; $5.8 billion of the money that is being cut is from the National Institutes of Health alone. Science is the future and these budget cuts will affect important research. March honorary co-chair Lydia Villa-Komaroff said that the march “might have been ignited by Trump, but it’s not about Trump”. It is very important to note that the March for Science was not intended to be a protest against Donald Trump, but about the importance of science.


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Alison Wolf of Richmond, VA holding a sign at the march. (source: Maggie Fox/NBC News)
The main march was held in Washington, DC but there were more than 600 satellite marches held in cities around the world. In Washington, DC, it is estimated that over 10,000 demonstrators marched from the National Mall to Union Square. There were many speakers at the march, including Bill Nye the Science Guy and many other significant figures in the science world. These speakers spoke about the importance of science in our society.
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Protesters make signs from the periodic table symbols for elements. (Source: Maggie Fox/NBC News)

The president released a statement on Earth Day saying, “Rigorous science is critical to [his] administration’s efforts to achieve the twin goals of economic growth and environmental protection”. This statement targets conceptions of sustainability that we, the Sustainability Task Force, work to achieve.  As students at the University of Maryland, the STF aims to inspire sustainable behavior on campus, and recognize the importance of science in our mission.  We can only hope that our elected officials do the same.  


The March for Science was followed by a Week of Action from April 22-29, 2017 that will hopefully continue well past a single week in April. Now that they’ve marched for science, they want action. Protesters are asking for change.  As stated on the March’s website, “the march is over, and the movement has begun. Science keeps marching forward, and so do we.”

Author: Megan Croly

For more info on the Sustainability Task Force, visit: http://blog.umd.edu/stf


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