Dickinsonians March for Science

Rachael Franchini ’19, Editor-in-Chief

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Dickinsonians participated in the March for Science on Sunday April 22 on Earth Day in Washington D.C., a protest that aimed to motivate the public to support scientific enterprise.

According to satellites.marchforscience.com, the official website for the march, over 600 cities worldwide held marches, and some cities signed up to be “Satellites,” an official chapter in the March for Science network.  As of print time, there were 610 registered Satellites.

Director of the Center for Sustainability Education (CSE) Neil Leary stated of the march, “It was heartening to join with tens of thousands of people marching for science in Washington, and learn that tens of thousands more, or maybe hundreds of thousands, marched in 600 other cities.”

Members of the Dickinson community were encouraged to fill out “Why I March for Science” signs and post them on social media using the relevant hashtags of #dsonsustainability and #MarchforScience.  Some students brought their Dickinson signs to the march and carried them there.

Some of the Dickinson signs included messages such as “REAL data gives us REAL solutions to REAL problems,” “There is no plan(et) B” and “Because we have one earth to support all life and to protect it, we must understand it!”

Leary added, “It [the march] demonstrates that many Americans understand that science is essential to our health, our environment and our wellbeing. Also that funding science is an investment in our future that pays.”

According to the New York Times, thousands of “scientists and their supporters” turned out for the event on

Sunday.  The Times wrote that the march was largely a response to President Donald Trump’s skeptical campaign rhetoric on climate change and environmental issues.

“I think it’s important for the government to know that the people of this country believe in the necessity of science based policy, and that research should be funded, not feared,” stated Maddie Weirick ’18, who is a biochemistry and molecular biology and women’s and gender studies double major. “The atmosphere of the march was amazing! Bill Nye was there along with Dr. Hanna-Attisha, who was the woman that blew the whistle on the Flint water crisis. It was incredible to be surrounded by so many people involved in, or supportive of STEM.”

Sara Johnson ’18, sociology major and another attendee of the march, stressed that “information supports that climate change is occurring now. This should not be retracted to fulfill a political agenda that was based on misinformation.”

“A clear message that was communicated by the marchers is that they are frustrated with and growing intolerant of elected and appointed public officials who misuse and misrepresent science, and whose decisions too often are not based on facts and are not supported by scientific evidence,” Leary concluded.

The Dickinson College website encourages students to continue to promote and share the importance of science and sustainability, “on Earth Day and beyond.”