March for Science events set around region for Earth Day

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The national march in D.C. this Saturday, along with satellite events across the country (and around the world) likely won't match the turnout of the Women's March on January 21 - a protest some observers speculated was among the largest in US history.

The march "has the endorsement of an enormous number of well-respected scientific organizations", said Susan Gerbi, professor of biochemistry and an organizer for the March for Science RI. This is a move supported by a majority of the general public, with a 2015 Pew Research Center study finding that 67 percent of Americans support giving climate scientists a greater role in climate policy decisions.

The march is meant "to show that people support science and that they recognize the value of science in their lives", said Rich Ribb, an organizer for the march in Rhode Island.

A campus-wide email sent April 13 by Provost Richard Locke and Vice President for Research David Savitz echoed these sentiments. They continued, "April 22 seeks a future". In unprecedented solidarity, many large scientific societies, such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science, are partners in the march.

At the Opera Hall, 250 S. Washington St., marchers will join the Earth Day celebration, where there will be speakers, workshops, teach-ins and live music.

But many University scientists do not share Young's worries. Students and staff who want to attend will even be provided with transportation.

"We all populate the same planet and share the risks of devaluing science", the researcher said. I can assure you that this has little to no impact on their science or for the potential public impact of their findings. Organizers argue that the march is "nonpartisan".

Instead, thousands will be donning lab coats and hitting the streets in an worldwide demonstration to celebrate the scientific community in the USA and defend its role in society.

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Christopher Kahler, professor of behavioral and social sciences, said that the objective of this march is to advocate for policies in government and funding that would benefit science and to show the value of science to society as a whole.

"I still wake up with palpitations", said Michele Hooper, a 62-year-old physician from California who attended the Women's March and Tax March.

As E.O. Wilson said, "Political ideology can corrupt the mind, and science".

The March for Science and Peoples Climate March will bring the fight for truth and justice right to the doorstep of the Trump administration. That's why scientists and their supporters are standing together on Earth Day to call for science that upholds the common good.

Lastly, the faculty has complained that the second travel ban implemented by the Trump administration, which banned travel of citizens from six Muslim-majority countries, is extremely detrimental to the status of science in the United States.

A group of local scientists are hoping for a large turnout this weekend when they rally in solidarity with the Washington March for Science.

A march aimed at promoting scientific-based public policy in the Trump era is raising questions about the appropriateness of mixing science with politics. You can get creative with your personalized message, or you can download and print signs.

"I think it's fair to say that this administration catalyzed the happening of this march, there's no doubt about that", said Lydia Villa-Komaroff, a national co-chairwoman of the March for Science who will speak at the Saturday event.

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