Trump administration is already making its presence felt, with the POTUS actively looking towards silencing the scientists at every institution that doesn’t comply with his agenda. Last week, he ordered complete media blackout on the EPA and the USDA. Trump has also forced the National Park Service to stop their activities on Twitter after it tweeted about research on climate change.
Co-chairs Caroline Weinberg, who is a science writer and public health researcher, along with Jonathan Berman, a post-doc fellow at University of Texas Health Science Center are looking after all the affairs of the March. They claim that they have been flooded with Google form requests to participate, even though they haven’t decided on a date yet.
Weinburg said in an e-mail to Gizmodo,
“Our motivation is pretty straight forward,”
“Scientists worldwide have been alarmed by the clear anti-science actions taken by the Trump administration. It has been less than a week and there have already been funding freezes and efforts to restrict scientists from communicating their findings (from tax-funded research!) with the public. These actions are absurd and cannot be allowed to stand as policy.”
Despite being only for the scientists, the March for Science is attracting interest from all walks of life.
Summer Ash, Director of Outreach for the Department of Astronomy at Columbia University, told Gizmodo in an email,
“Marching is important to me because it feels like ‘fact’ has become a subjective term. Not enough people understand how science works and how science plays a role in their lives—and not just their cell phone.”
“Science is behind how [people] put food on the table, how they power their homes, how they care for their children, etc,” Ash continued. “Science isn’t something you believe in, it’s a tool/process for understanding how things/the world/the universe works.”
The march has also spurred on the scientists employed by government agencies, who are at the highest risk for fund cuts under the Trump administration.
“What the new administration is doing is beyond anything anyone at my office has ever seen,” a scientific technician who works for a federal agency and preferred not to be quoted by name told Gizmodo. “There are folks here who have been working for Interior and in water resources for 30-plus years. We have contracts with the EPA that are now up in the air; we have no idea what’s going to happen with our funding.”
Many concerned parents will also be joining the protest, fearing about the future of their children under Trump who negates proven facts like climate change and the efficacy of vaccines.
A mother of two boys from the Bronx, NY, who also preferred to remain anonymous, said,
“I want to march in support of science because I believe in facts. I believe in data. I want our children (and, frankly, adults) to be educated, to understand proper sources, and to cite appropriate references. I will march because I’m tired of the malarkey.”
The “malarkey” and anti-science agenda has become unbearable for any rational mind, let alone the scientists who have dedicated their entire lives to scientific method and discovery. Michael Halpern, deputy director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, spoke,
“The overwhelming interest in a scientist march shows that facts still matter to people, and that efforts to erode the role of science in our democracy will be met with direct resistance,” he told Gizmodo. “This is only the beginning of a movement to protect the independence of science, and to defend scientists working in government agencies like the EPA who are responsible for keeping Americans safe from public health and environmental threats.”
Some “eventful” times are ahead for the US and the world!