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Saturday Marchers: Standing Up for Science Still Important

More than 25,000 people showed up to support the Seattle March for Science last year. (Dennis Bratland/Wikimedia Commons)
More than 25,000 people showed up to support the Seattle March for Science last year. (Dennis Bratland/Wikimedia Commons)
April 13, 2018

SEATTLE – Marchers are turning out again to support science.

On Saturday, people around the world will take to the streets for the second "March for Science." The event highlights the importance of evidence-based policymaking and in Seattle, will feature speeches from House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.

Stacy Smedley, partnerships coordinator for March for Science Seattle, says this year's marches may be even more important than last year's, when rally-goers worried about how science could be pushed aside under the Trump administration.

"I think what's happened over the past year is, we've seen that kind of play out. We've seen that start to happen in the EPA and other places with proposals to reduce research funding, all sorts of different avenues when it comes to legislation," says Smedley.

Smedley adds however, that it isn't a partisan march and says the goal is to bring together as many diverse voices as possible. The Seattle event begins at 10 a.m. at Cal Anderson Park. There will also be marches in Olympia and Spokane.

The theme of the Seattle march is "Science's Silenced Voices." T.J. Greene is a former chairman of the Makah Tribal Council and a current trustee of The Nature Conservancy of Washington, one of the sponsors of the march. Greene will speak Saturday about the importance of indigenous knowledge. He says the western science approach could benefit from a more holistic view of the world.

"I think what's missing, but I see it being done a lot more often is – and this is throughout most every indigenous culture – a way of viewing our environment and the world around us as being connected – you know, everything," says Greene.

Mary Ruckelshaus is a scientist and a member of The Nature Conservancy's science advisory board. She says it's an important time to stand up for science.

"Being an activist for what you believe in has obviously come to the fore, more recently. So yeah, I think this is something that maybe too many people take for granted,” says Ruckelshaus, “that science affects everything in our lives, and I really feel like it's important to remind people of that."

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - WA