A recap of the Minnesota March for Science
As the Trump administration’s continues to disregard any existence of science, millions of Americans took to the streets on Earth Day to voice their concerns about the risks that ignoring science pose to our planet. Over 10,000 people marched to the state capitol in St. Paul on Saturday.
The Minnesota March for Science was as much a celebration of science as it was a warning sign to politicians that the American people would not stand for a government that prioritizes profits and climate change denial over environmental protection and science based reasoning.
The march had a positive spirit and remained peaceful throughout. Chants of “What do we want? Evidence based research! When do we want it? After peer review!” filled the warm air. The issues raised heavily focused on the new administration’s policies and the dangerous effects that come with cutting programs such as NASA, NOAA and the EPA.
A rally was held at the capitol where various speakers, including Rep. Betty McCollum, gave hope to a concerned, yet motivated crowd. “Today is about standing united to confront the destructive political agenda that promotes ignorance, denial and dangerous alternative facts, otherwise known as lies,” McCollum said.
Dr. Mark Seeley, a renowned climatologist and University of Minnesota professor spoke on the relationship between science and religion, two things that are often framed as being unable to coexist. “Stewardship of our planet and stewardship for each other should be our common bond,” he said.
He went on to discuss how science pushes us to discover. “We, like other animals of the planet earth use our five senses but we couple them with our inherent human curiosity and our miraculous cognitive abilities that allow us to pursue new knowledge through science,” Seeley said. “Scientists are seekers of truth.”
Bobwealth Omontese, who works in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the U of M, echoed a major point heard throughout the march. “The only way we can truly tackle this reality is by continually investing in science and the people who dedicate their life and intellect to understand problems and come up with practical solutions.”
The science community will continue its political activism this weekend with the People’s Climate March taking place on Saturday in Minneapolis and across the country.