March 22, 2017 Earth Day, Eugene, Ore.

Members of Indivisible Eugene joined several thousand scientists and citizens on the University of Oregon campus to March for Science. Protests, rallies and marches occurred across the country—a nationwide exclamation point about the importance of science, research and science-based policy in our tumultuous world.

Local media and eyewitness accounts pegged the crowd between 2,000 to 3,000 people. In Oregon, 14 communities held similar marches. In Ashland, Coos Bay, Eugene, Klamath Falls, Roseburg, Pendleton, Bend, Corvallis, Newport, Grants Pass, Sisters, Salem, St. Helens and Portland people took to the streets and joined their neighbors to show their support for science.

The organizers billed the event as a non-partisan gathering but many participants did not get the memo. Numerous signs and banners were openly critical of the current administration’s stances. Some protesters carried handmade signs reading, “Climate Change is Not a Hoax,” “Republicans Need a Moment of Science,” and “Make America Smart Again.” And a personal favorite, “Science Trumps Ignorance.”

Tim Donaghy, writing at http://www.commondreams.org offered nine reasons about why people should hit the streets in support of science.

  1. The universe is amazing and beautiful — and we can figure out how it works.
  2. We’re going to need science now more than ever. Climate change presents an immense challenge: how do we disentangle our economy from fossil fuels while also ending energy poverty and improving lives around the world without sound science.
  3. Trump is lying to us. The unvarnished truth matters more than ever.
  4. Climate change deniers have seized the reins of government. Climate change deniers have never had as much power in DC as they do under this administration.
  5. We need more investment in scientific research — not less. Trump’s proposed budget would decimate critical scientific research in the United States. The proposed cuts are shockingly short-sighted, and they could mean that the United States will no longer be on the cutting edge for certain fields of research.
  6. We need a strong federal scientific workforce. We rely on these scientists to protect our shared environment, keep us all healthy, and ensure that the government decision making runs on credible information — not wishful thinking.
  7. We need strong science-based policy-making. Science is never the only ingredient in smart policy making, but the integrity of science in that process must be protected from political interference.
  8. Science has not always been a positive force, and we can do better. The March for Science has brought forward important conversations about equity, diversity, inclusion, human rights, and social justice within the scientific community.
  9. Science is under attack like never before, and scientists taking it to the streets is a necessary act of resistance. Let’s be clear — the politicization of science is happening whether we like it or not, driven and funded by powerful interest groups. A strong democracy needs science, just as science needs a strong democracy. This weekend, scientists — like many of us in the age of Trump — were out on the streets showing us how it’s done.

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