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Marchers to Demand Texas Politicians "Respect Science"

Organizers expect a large crowd at the April 21 March for Science rally at the State Capitol in Austin. (MarchforScience)
Organizers expect a large crowd at the April 21 March for Science rally at the State Capitol in Austin. (MarchforScience)
April 16, 2018

AUSTIN, Texas – Organizers of Austin's annual March for Science hope to send a message to state lawmakers - stop politicizing, and start respecting science. The march and rally, scheduled for Saturday, will coincide with the city's annual Earth Day celebration.

Planners expect a crowd of several hundred to participate this year.

Jose Medina, deputy communications director for the event organizers, says in the current political climate, people need to be reminded just how important science is to their everyday lives.

"I think the vast majority of people see science as a benefit, something that has helped us in many, many ways," Medina says. "So, they're kind of fearful of science coming under attack and maybe holding back what would otherwise be some pretty important advancement."

The global March for Science movement was created in 2017 by such groups as the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The Nature Conservancy, and others.

Marches were planned in mid-April in at least seven Texas cities, and hundreds more across the U.S. and around the world. The main march in Washington, D.C., last weekend drew an estimated 5,000 people.

Medina says Austin's march had about 600 participants last year, and at least that many are expected at this year's event.

"Our event will begin with some pro-science activities on the State Capitol grounds," he adds. "Then we'll do a rally and following the rally we'll do the march, which will go from the Capitol to the Earth Day celebrations at Huston-Tillotson University in East Austin."

He notes some of the state's conservative politicians are dismissive of science, and says the marchers - who are also voters - want policies based on factual evidence, not partisan ideology.

"We hope that elected officials, both from the local level to the state government, take note that there are plenty of people who love and support science, and see and appreciate all its benefits," he explains.

The rally starts at 10 A.M., the march begins at noon. The Austin event is sponsored by Earth Day ATX and the Texas Freedom Network.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - TX