Scientists speak out about need for science march

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Earth Day is Saturday, but this year’s focus is not just on the environment or climate change. This year, the marches and rallies will be supporting science in general.

On this Earth Day, New Haven will have its usual “Rock to Rock” bicycle rally, but when that ends in East Rock Park, a new event begins.

“So, at one o’clock, we’re starting out with events for kids where you can meet scientists one on one and hear their stories, do science demos, isolate DNA from plants,” said March for Science Organizer Diane Krause.

The important word there is science. Thanks to Yale, New Haven is home to some of the world’s top scientists, and on this Earth Day, some of them will gather and then march through the city. It’s not just happening here. Kind of like the Women’s marches in January, there will be lots of local marches, at least 4 in Connecticut, and a main one in Washington, DC.

“It’s actually been incredible and invigorating to see how well the scientific community has come together to cooperate to get all these marches off the ground,” said Becky Carlyle, Action Together Connecticut.

You may be thinking, why do we need a march for science? The organizers are a little amazed, too. At an event promoting the march a couple days ago, Senator Chris Murphy said marching to support science is like marching to support 2 plus 2 equaling 4, but there is this feeling that facts and science are kind of under attack these days. Senator Murphy called it an “unprecedented assault that’s being waged on science.”

Politicians at rallies like the one in New Haven on Tuesday are supposed to be political, but scientists say when they publish their carefully researched work, it is not something that can be debated on Sunday talk shows. Also, if people try to say science is anti-job, scientists say it’s just the opposite.

“Whether it be geologists working with coal miners and the oil industry, or electronics research for new technologies, advanced energy sources,” said Professor Larry Rizzolo of the Yale Unviersity School of Medicine. As he puts it, science is the infrastructure of every industry in this country.

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