The March for Science, Washington, D.C. — On April 22, 2017 — Earth Day — thousands of scientists, science advocates and general enthusiasts rallied on the grounds of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., at the first-ever March for Science. The organizers estimate that over 600 sister marches also occurred around the world.
The march may be “unprecedented,” sociologist Kelly Moore told Rachel Ehrenberg for a blog post giving a historical perspective on scientists’ activism. “This is the first time in American history where scientists have taken to the streets to collectively protest the government’s misuse and rejection of scientific expertise.”
March for science will take scientists’ activism to a new level
Lab coats aren’t typical garb for mass demonstrations, but they may be on full display April 22. That’s when thousands of scientists, science advocates and science-friendly citizens are expected to flood the streets in the March for Science. — Rachel Ehrenberg
The March for Science took place next to the Washington Monument, opposite the White House. Grounds opened at 8 a.m. and filled up quickly.
The rally kicked off at 10 a.m.
The rally featured an array of speakers…
“Science benefits from diverse perspectives.” – Caroline Solomon, biologist at Gallaudet U. #ScienceMarch— Science News (@ScienceNews) April 22, 2017
…from scientists to teachers to advocates.
Meghan Duffy of U Michigan does basic research on tiny shrimp to ultimately find ways to treat human fungal infections. #MarchForScience— Science News (@ScienceNews) April 22, 2017
“Publicly funded, peer-reviewed research is now more important than ever.” – Roger Johnson of Nat’l Farmer’s Union #marchforscience— Science News (@ScienceNews) April 22, 2017
“Thomas Jefferson was so nerdy he wrote a paper about a typo in Newton’s Principia.” – Joe Romm #MarchForScience— Science News (@ScienceNews) April 22, 2017
Some speakers seemed keenly aware of fears of mixing science and politics, a common criticism of the event over the last few months, and didn’t shy away from the intersection.
(Physicist Rush Holt is the CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a sponsor of the march, and was a U.S. Congressman for 16 years.)
“Congress gave me and the people I’ve trained the opportunity to contribute to society.” – Erich Jarvis, neuroscientist #MarchForScience— Science News (@ScienceNews) April 22, 2017
The rally also featured some pioneers of various sorts. Nancy Roman, aka “Mother Hubble,” was the first woman to hold an executive position at NASA in the 1960s.
Astronaut Leland Melvin told an entertaining anecdote about getting his start in science in sixth grade when his mom gave him “an age-inappropriate, non-OSHA-approved chemistry set.” At one point, a chemical explosion blew up her living room. But, “that’s what got me hooked on science,” he said.
Pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha took the stage with Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny, aka “Little Miss Flint.”
There were even some unexpected musical guests.
And, of course, some familiar faces.
The rally wrapped up just before 2 p.m., and the march began. Thousands of people poured into the streets for the march down Constitution Avenue toward the U.S. Capitol building.
A previous version of this story appeared on Storify.com.