We went to the March for Science in D.C. Here’s what happened

March for Science 2017

Science News staff members reported live updates from the March for Science in Washington, D.C., on April 22. 

K. Travis

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.”

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.

K. Travis

The rally kicked off at 10 a.m.

The rally featured an array of speakers…

…from scientists to teachers to advocates.

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.)

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.

K. Travis

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.

K. Travis

Pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha took the stage with Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny, aka “Little Miss Flint.”

K. Travis

There were even some unexpected musical guests.

And, of course, some familiar faces.

K. Travis

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.

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