Rain didn’t stop local science enthusiasts from joining the March for Science Cincinnati at Sawyer Point — one of more than 230 worldwide events to supplement the second annual march in Washington, D.C. — on Saturday, April 14.
The March for Science is a global movement to celebrate science and advocate nonpartisan, evidence-based policy from public officials. It was established in January 2017 after concern about the need for science in policy sparked the idea for a scientists’ march — an idea that soon went viral, according to the March for Science website.
Concerns stemmed from President Donald Trump’s denial of climate change and the current presidential administration’s proposed funding cuts for federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), The New York Times reported.
Cincinnati’s 2018 march was hosted by March for Science Cincinnati, which operates as a committee within the Tri-State Freethinkers — a nonprofit activist and educational organization that promotes equal rights and the separation of church and state. The event kicked off with a rally featuring multiple speakers.
“We can, as scientists, no longer remain silent and uninvolved,” said Cory Christopher, director of the Center for Conservation at the Cincinnati Nature Center. “Without casting judgment or inflicting guilt, we [must] acknowledge the harm we have done to the Earth, and join together to find a better way forward.”
A march through Sawyer Point followed the rally. Many attendees carried signs bearing messages like “Less invasions, more equations,” and “There is no Planet B.” Donning ponchos and smiles, the crowd chanted “Hey, hey, ho, ho, alternative fuels are the way to go!” and “2, 4, 6, 8, everyone should vaccinate!”
The crowd convened at the science festival that featured booths from local organizations, such as the Cincinnati Museum Center, The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County and the Community Shares of Greater Cincinnati.
“I think it’s important for the general public to be aware of all of the science opportunities not only in Cincinnati, but all over the world and [in] all professions,” said Jennifer Patritti, a graduate neuroscience student and vice president of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science — a national organization that provides professional development for minority students to stay in science.
“For minority students to see other people like them being involved in science, I think that's very important,” she said. “That's why I’m here.”
The UC Biomedical Informatics Student Association (BISA) had a booth as well.
“For us to be out here today — even in the rainy weather — is to show the intent that we do care about science,” said A.J. Adejare, a graduate biomedical informatics student and BISA representative. “We are part of the community too, and we want to become more a part of the community as we develop through our careers.”
Festivities concluded at 3 p.m. Saturday. The crowd was smaller this year, but those who attended were just as ardent about science advocacy. Fewer people attended the Washington march and there were fewer total events worldwide, Science Magazine reported.