Students march for science

Over 600 marches took the streets across the globe on Earth Day, April 22, in an effort to call support for the use of scientific reason, research, and evidence. This ‘March for Science’ was planned partly in response to the proposed policies by the Trump administration which would cut government funding for scientific research, as well as Trump’s denial of climate change.

Miranda Barraza, senior, was one of multiple NPHS students among the thousands who marched in Southern California.

I wanted to send the message that science is important and we cannot slip backwards into a society that does not recognize the facts,” she said. “Climate change is real and we need to address the issues to save our planet.”

Grant Hoffman, junior, who also marched for science, agreed with Barraza.

I think that (the) politicization of scientific topics is becoming a really big issue, and I think that getting the scientific community to speak up and be like, ‘hey, it’s not, facts are facts,’ I think that is super important for the future of our country,” he said.

Barraza acknowledged that while the march was first and foremost about supporting science, there were some political undercurrents.

“The march itself was bipartisan because science should be recognized as truth by both sides. However, there were a lot of political references because the march was brought on by our new administration’s refusal to acknowledge scientific facts and our country’s need to transition to renewable energy to preserve our environment,” she said.

Hoffman also addressed the political undercurrent of the protest: “… most posters were just about science literacy and making sure that we have funding for science. It wasn’t as much about hating Trump as it was about supporting science.”

Deborah Dogancay, science teacher, had intended to march in Santa Barbara but was unable to attend. Nonetheless, she discussed the sort of messages she believes should be inferred from the march.

“Hopefully it’s not seen as a partisan thing, I would hope that all of the human race would embrace science, and that’s what I think the March for Science was all about,” she said.

Dogancay emphasized the importance of using science along with other forms of knowledge in order to make the most informed choices possible.

“Science can’t answer all of our questions, you need other areas of knowledge … it answers one type of question and it gives you one type of knowledge, but why would you deny access to any kind of important knowledge or information that can help you make wise decisions?” she asked.

15,000 people marched in Los Angeles alone, according to Reuters. In a press release on the same day of the march, Trump stated, “My Administration is committed to advancing scientific research that leads to a better understanding of our environment and of environmental risks.” The Trump administration, however, did not directly address the marches.

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