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Scientists Set to March for Evidence-Based Policies

The first-ever March for Science will be held in Des Moines, Iowa City and hundreds of other U.S. cities. (Pixabay)
The first-ever March for Science will be held in Des Moines, Iowa City and hundreds of other U.S. cities. (Pixabay)
April 21, 2017

DES MOINES, Iowa – Scientists and their supporters will be marching in 200 cities across the nation on Saturday, including Des Moines, Iowa City and Independence, to affirm the value of science and the need for evidence-based policies.

President Donald Trump has proposed cutting the Environmental Protection Agency's budget by 31 percent and his EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, is a climate skeptic.

State organizer John Shaw contends politicians should not be debating the validity of scientific research.

"Furthermore, when science brings us to a conclusion, you know, climate change is real, we can talk about an interpretation of the facts but it's not OK to be disputing the facts themselves," he explained.

Officials at the Department of Energy's International Climate Office reportedly have banned the terms "climate change," "emissions reduction" and "Paris agreement" in written memos.

Shaw explains science benefits everyone, every day, in the form of clean water and air, safe bridges, medical advances and technologies such as microwaves and televisions. And he notes science is not political.

"What side of the aisle subscribes to what kind of policy, thoughts, or what kind of economical models: science doesn't care," he said. "It follows the facts. The observations take us someplace and we need to follow that, regardless of the policies."

He adds science is practiced by people of all backgrounds, beliefs and non-beliefs, and Saturday's march will include folks from biology, engineering, physics and various other scientific fields.

The Independence march starts at 11 A.M.; events in Des Moines and Iowa City begin at noon.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IA