By Hannah Leve
“When science and research are under attack, what do we do?”
Crowds of people flocked Copley Square in Boston on February 19. Speech after speech and chant after chant, folks took a stand for science. One speaker jokingly called it the “nerdiest” crowd he had ever seen. Thousands of participants, diverse in age, gender and ethnicity, rallied together for the protection and preservation of science. The organizers prepped for a maximum of 1,000 people, but several thousand showed up at Copley Square.
Although politics have stolen the media spotlight, research and development rights are also topics of serious concern. With climate change as a mainstream (and highly controversial) discussion, where does science fall in the realm of activism?
Audrey Trebelhorn, sophomore at University of William & Mary studying public health and psychology, went to the rally. “Science advances society,” she said. Audrey believes it’s her role to stand up for the achievements and advancements in her field of study. “Being quiet is not going to change anyone’s mind,” she said.
The rally demanded science for all, with speakers that ranged from students and citizens to professors and doctors. According to Chiamaka Obilo, high school student and speaker, “science can’t stand alone.” Protecting Earth and its resources will sustain our present and future generations. To Chiamaka, climate change is “as much of a social justice issue as it is a science one.”
Science is a tool to benefit all of us. Children held signs with “science rulez” scrawled on them, while adults wore lab coats and graduation gowns. Science should not discriminate, and speakers discussed the value of women and racial minorities in STEM fields. In such a polarized period, we must embrace equality and look forward to the innovation that diversity brings to the science community.
The science industry intsects with politics, and both fields are making demands for equality. With the looming politcal climate, scientists are speaking up and fighting for equal opportunity within the field. The rally organizers said it right, “When science thrives we all will.”
Interested in science education and equality within the field? Check out our program, Wizards, and see how you can get involved!