|A group of friends rallies with homemade felt hats of different animals that are at risk. (Photo: Zach Roberts)|
What started as a Twitter conversation on the #usofscience hashtag during the inauguration of President Trump morphed into an estimated 610 marches for science yesterday -- including at the North Pole and Antarctica. Supported by 170 partner organizations, thousands descended on the Capitol to declare a belief in and/or passion for science and truth in defiance of what's being called the most anti-science administration in history.
During the campaign, Trump showed a propensity for shirking and outright denying scientific facts, particularly on the environment and health care. Then, in March, the White House budget blueprint off a new ripple of fear in the science community in response to the massive cuts to government-funded medical and scientific research -- nearly across the board. He takes specific aim at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as the National Institutes of Health, which stands to lose one-fifth of its budget -- nearly $6 billion.
|The marchers, who numbered in the thousands, held creative signs in solidarity with science and scientists, often mocking the president who has put it under threat. (Photo: Zach Roberts)|
Much like those who came out for the Women's Marches in January, participants have been activated by a fear of the effect these cuts could have on their immediate lives as well as future generations. Official estimates of the Washington, DC, crowd were unavailable (March For Science has not returned requests for information or comment), but some outlets estimate 40,000 people attended, and participants and reporters for Truthout confirm that thousands of all ages and backgrounds showed up in inclement weather for speakers, teach-ins, and -- of course -- to shout with signs.
A few science celebrities were among those marching and participating in teach-ins. Bill Nye the Science Guy was making the rounds, and speakers included astronaut Leland Melvin, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife Jamie Rappaport Clark, and Christiana Figueres, the former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), who is known for her leadership on the Paris Climate Agreement.
Satellite marches around the country saw massive turnouts that rivaled the Women's March. According to KBPS local news, an estimated 15,000 people gathered downtown San Diego for the local march. And According to the Associated Press, at least 10,000 marched in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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