My wife and I were among the massive numbers of people around the world who marched for Science on April 22. We took part in the Milwaukee event, which started at 2:00PM downtown in Red Arrow Park. Speakers went for about an hour, followed by a two-mile march to the County Museum and back again. The crowd was estimated by the organizers to be more than 3,000 people (I think it was more).
Because the march coincided with Earth Day, many of the attendees came with the environment as their main focus. Others were concerned about the current administration's outright rejection of science, scientists, and adequate science funding. My own reasons are outlined in my entry of March 30, "Why I Will March for Science."
Unlike most recent protests, there wasn't a great deal of anger expressed by the participants. The mood was more of frustration and resignation at the stupidity of current national and state decision-makers.
The chants were a little lame. (Give me a P...an H...a Y...an S...an I...a C...an S... What's that spell?). The skies were a beautiful blue and the temperature a comfortable 52 degrees. The standard marching gear was science-themed T-shirts, light jackets, and a smattering of lab coats (I dug-out my own for the occasion).
During the event, I kept wondering how we have arrived at this low point in our nation's history. How did we get to the point where we feel that we must defend science from our political leaders? Why is a March for Science even necessary? How did we elect a President that makes his decisions based on the mandates of big oil and coal rather than on facts? How did we elect a Vice President that rejects the foundation of modern Biology? Are we headed towards a new Dark Age?