by Sheryl Monks, MFA
On Saturday, thousands of scientists and supporters of science marched in cities across the US and countries around the world to protest a new presidential administration viewed as hostile to issues affecting healthcare, the environment, and other science-related programs and initiatives. Marches took place in major US cities, including Washington, DC, Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia, and also in smaller places such as Greensboro, NC, and Tallahassee, Florida. Worldwide, more than 500 marches for science took place on Earth Day, a day of obvious significance to the scientific community. According to organizers, 610 satellite marches were held in cities as diverse as Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Kampala, Central Uganda; Kyiv, Ukraine; Sulaymaniyah, As-Sulaymaniyah, Iraq; and beyond.
National and global partners included the Earth Day Network, the American Anthropological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association of University Professors, the American Geophysical Union, the American Society for Cell Biology, the Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Entomological Society of America, the National Center for Science Education, the New York Academy of Sciences, NextGen Climate Amercia, Research!America, the Society for Conservation Biology North America, and a multitude of other organizations.
According to its website, “The March for Science champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity … [and] unite[s] as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.”
Participating in the Tallahassee, Florida, march was Dr. Charlotte Baker, an assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Florida A&M University, who spoke to JPHMP Direct recently about using real data to find solutions to pressing public health issues right now.
True to her role as an educator, Baker noted that the best part of the day was not the speakers, nor the exercise she got marching up hills and stairs toward the Florida Historic Capitol Building, “though both of those were excellent,” she said. “It was the number of kids under 17 or 18 who were present and participating. We marched for those kids and their futures and the future of the kids after them.”
“It was a great event to participate in, and I was glad to log in to social media later in the day to see that many of my colleagues around the world also participated in their cities,” Baker said. “The question we have to ask ourselves now is ‘What’s next?’ I hope the momentum of this event continues to strengthen science and science education, not result in attitudes of ‘That was great. I’m done.'”
Organizers are encouraging supporters to keep that momentum moving forward by participating in “A Week of Action.”
Here are a few ways they encourage everyone to get involved:
- Sign the Environmental Voter’s Pledge
- Tell the president of the UN General Assembly to Support Science
- Write to Your Legislators and Ask Them to Save Science
- Dr. Charlotte Baker Teaches “Real Data” to Find Solutions to Pressing Public Health Issue Right Now
- Programs Manager, April Reese, Educates Communities on Diabetes Prevention
ABOUT JPHMP Direct
JPHMP Direct is the online companion site of THE JOURNAL OF PUBLICH HEALTH MANAGEMENT & PRACTICE. For news media interested in interviewing the authors mentioned in this article or other JPHMP authors regarding emerging stories and perennial issues concerning population health in the United States and abroad, contact Sheryl Monks by phone or email to make arrangement or discuss story ideas.