Published: Sun, April 23, 2017
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Global march for science raises concern over Trump policies

Global march for science raises concern over Trump policies

In cities across the globe, scientists and other protesters have taken to the streets in effort to counteract what they believe are attacks on science.

"It has dawned on some of them it is time to speak up", Rush Holt, chief executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, said ahead of the marches.

"Science should neither serve special interests nor be rejected based on personal convictions", it continues.

Scientists protest in Parliament Square, central London, during the March for Science, Saturday, April 22, 2017.

The March for Science, which coincides with Earth Day, took place in more than 500 cities around the world - with about 18 scheduled in cities across Canada.

He has proposed deep cuts in funding for scientific research, elevated opponents of climate pacts and environmental regulations to Cabinet-level positions, and drawn support from conservative Christians who challenge the teaching of evolution in U.S. schools. "I love animals and want parks to stay around for years to come", he said. "We worked really closely with the Union of Concerned Scientists in the USA, for example".

"It just seems like they're not really concerned about economic growth or creating new technologies, just catering to massive corporations", said Taylor, who is earning a PhD in robotics at George Mason University in Virginia. "So now, it's our turn to return the favour to them".

Thousands of people are expected to attend March for Science events around the world to promote the understanding of science and defend it from various attacks, including USA government budget cuts.

"We need as many people as possible to be educated in the sciences".

The organizers don't expect the event to end on Saturday. He says most probably have never met a scientist.

"The things that we're seeing down in the States now, the cuts to the EPA and NOAA, the muzzling of scientists, the removal of language like "climate change" and other things from websites, this whole spectrum of things is in some ways a pretty direct echo of things we saw under the Harper government".

She wore a white T-shirt, with a drawing of the earth stretched over her belly, and carried a sign that read "evidence-based policy and not policy-based evidence".

Richard Zurawski, a meteorologist-turned-city-councillor who helped organize the event, said it is imperative that politicians combat the creeping influence of pseudo-science at all levels of government.

"We need to stop and recognize the significance of science and the importance of funding it properly and using the evidence that it produces as the basis of good public policy", Associate Professor Stuart Khan and organizer at the Sydney march told ABC Australia.

"It's important to show this administration that we care about facts", said Chris Taylor, 24, who was part of an early crowd of about 2,000 who gathered on the Mall for teach-ins on topics like climate change, water quality and sustainable food.

In Ottawa, Gibbs warned that, in spite of progress under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's administration, Canadians aren't entirely out of the woods yet.

Christine McEntee, executive director of the American Geophysical Union, a global professional organization of earth and space scientists, cited concerns by scientists and threats to research as a result of elections in the US and other countries. And I think we have that.

The direct involvement by the scientific community in a national policy debate has stirred some criticism about whether scientists should get involved in politics.

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