On Earth Day this Saturday, physicists, engineers, entomologists, microbiologists, psychologists and scientists of every stripe will converge on the nation’s capital in defense of the planet and their livelihoods.
The national March for Science — as well as sister marches across the country, including here in Hampton Roads — are intended not as a call to arms, participants say, but as an appeal to reason.
“Scientists prefer not to get involved in politics,” said environmental scientist Benjamin Cuker. “But the current wave of anti-science flooding out of the federal government must be answered by scientists, themselves. We can’t expect any other sector of society to stand up for science if we as scientists fail to do so.”
Cuker is a professor of marine and environmental studies at Hampton University. He says he and his wife, a middle school STEM teacher, and another colleague plan to drive up early Saturday to Washington, D.C.
Other local scientists, students and their supporters plan to rally and march either in D.C. or in Norfolk in events largely organized at the grass-roots level but backed by national and international science groups such as the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Concerns about the future of federal funding for science rose after Donald Trump won the presidential election last November. As a candidate, Trump had publicly assailed the validity of science on various fronts, from the safety of childhood vaccines to the value of environmental regulations to the science behind climate change.
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