The Science March is a huge event in hundreds of cities, but what is it really about, and how does it affect us?
The Science March is a day where people, scientists or just supporters, come together in cities to celebrate science and the impact it has on the world. They come to appreciate all of the members of society holding careers in scientific fields, whether they’ve made famous, view-changing discoveries or if they have scientific jobs many of us take for granted.
In addition to giving recognition to those who deserve it, those who run the march hope to empower young people to follow paths towards STEM careers. Science careers are very important currently, and many of the new breakthroughs we have recently discovered will likely have to be continued by the next generation.
This year, there have been tensions between the government and many people in the scientific community regarding President Donald Trump’s policies, and some alarm of his skepticism surrounding climate change. Some people have raised questions on whether this event is a pro-science march or an anti-Trump march. However, Lydia Villa-Komaroff, a prominent scientist and one of the three honorary co-chairs of the march, said in an article by Stat News that “this is a pro-science movement that looks far beyond the current administration” and also expressed that political views certainly do not dictate your scientific views.
Another large part of the Science March is celebrating and promoting diversity in the scientific field. While there are still areas for improvement, as in all career fields, STEM fields have become more diverse in terms of ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, abilities, religions, and economic backgrounds.
There are three co-chairs of this year’s march, picked because of their contributions to science. The first is Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician who used her research on the effects of lead exposure to reveal the lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan. The second is Lydia Villa-Komaroff, who contributed to using bacteria to create insulin and is the co-founder of SACNAS, the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science. The third co-chair is Bill Nye, who is a science educator as well as the CEO of The Planetary Society.
This year’s events will be held on Saturday, April 22nd in Washington DC and in over 300 cities across the country, the closest to Glenbard West being the one in downtown Chicago. The crowd who attends will enter at Congress Parkway and march to Museum Campus from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. during the rally.
If you are unable to attend, there is also an option to show support in a “virtual march” where you can register yourself and be included in the participant count. Another way of showing support is through donation. After the rally, an expo to involve science supporters will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Field Museum in the Taxi Loop near East McFetridge Drive. For the specific exhibitors, go to https://sciencemarchchicago.org/expo-visitors.html.