March for Science: There is NO silencing the nerds

Pins and posters featuring the message "Science, Not Silence," designed by Indianapolis artist Penelope Dullaghan for Pincause, will be a familiar sight at more than 500 March for Science events worldwide on Saturday, April 22.(Courtesy of Pincause)

Pins and posters featuring the message "Science, Not Silence," designed by Indianapolis artist Penelope Dullaghan for Pincause, will be a familiar sight at more than 500 March for Science events worldwide on Saturday, April 22.(Courtesy of Pincause)

Just over 12 weeks after a casual comment on Reddit proposed the idea of March for Science, scientists and science supporters marched on April 22, the 47th anniversary of Earth Day. The event started with a few Facebook and Twitter pages and eventually snowballed as numerous mainstream scientific organizations endorsed it.March for Science eventually became a global phenomenon, held in more than 600 cities on six continents and cheered on by scientists on a seventh, Antarctica.

In Washington D.C., thousands of people gathered on the rain-soaked ground of the Washington monument to honor and celebrate Science. After four hours of speeches, the rally marched down Constitution Avenue to the foot of Capitol Hill, “Hey, Trump, have you heard, you can’t silence every nerd!”

Some carried signs that showed rising oceans and faces of famous scientists like Rosalind Franklin and Marie Curie. I personally carried a sign with a checklist of the diseases Americans no longer contract thanks to vaccines. Some people wore lab coats. Some wore pink, knitted “brain” hats.

A love for science knows no age. Even kids made their voices heard calling for things like clean water and nutritious food. The day-long celebration of Science was meant to encourage policy-makers to use scientific evidence to craft legislation.

The major concerns among the scientific community when it comes to Trump administration are the lack of understanding of climate change- the president once called global warming a hoax perpetrated by China- and a budget proposal that slashes nearly $6 billion in funding, which is a massive blow to federally funded medical and scientific research.

I am glad to see that hundreds of thousands of people marched around the globe because they believe in the concept of Science. The rain may have washed away our signs but we did leave a clear message that we as scientists and citizens stand for Science.

As renowned American Astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, once said "I am trying to convince people — not only the public, but lawmakers and people in power — that investing in the frontier of science, however remote it may seem in its relevance to what you're doing today, is a way of stockpiling the seed corns of future harvests of this nation."