Here's what to expect from Saturday's March for Science


Marches will be held in 11 Australian cities and 440 locations globally, as scientists and their supporters unite to celebrate science and to champion robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. It has the potential to be the first step towards the worldwide protection of scientific evidence and research.

The March for Science, a demonstration that took a cue from January's Women's March, is protesting the anti-science agenda that the new US administration has put forward.

President Donald Trump campaigned on statements that directly undermined or denied scientific knowledge.

The national march in D.C. this Saturday, along with satellite events across the country (and around the world) likely won't match the turnout of the Women's March on January 21 - a protest some observers speculated was among the largest in USA history.

The Globe authors say an "erosion of the public trust in science" brought about by industry lobbyists has resulted in "a widening rift between critical thinking and alternative facts".

The state Capitol in Olympia, a reliable stage for protests, is expected to draw 500 people.

The smell of worry coming off the scientific community in 2017 is as real as gasoline. William Brown, biology, the march is an opportunity for scientists to remind the current administration of the importance of the use of scientific methodologies and findings in policy-making.

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Some EPA staffers anticipated the change in administration and began storing federal data on climate change well before it could be taken off federal web sites and hidden away by the new administration.

Scientists are rightly alarmed as well by the new president's budget proposals. One cut proposed by Trump targets the EPA and zeroes out an account dedicated to the cleanup of Puget Sound (which state funds also support). Devised in the U.S. in response to the new President's policies towards climate change and cuts to science funding, the movement quickly spread to over 500 cities around the world.

The protests are often fueled by those with left-leaning political views who were surprised by Trump's victory but have not been quelled by his policies and actions since taking office. Political turmoil has given rise to the "post-truth" era, she said, in which people ignore facts that undermine their own beliefs. Independent research can move the cause of science forward, helping everyone without relying on vested interests to pay for it. "It is the responsibility of scientists to show that good science is an inextricable thread in the fabric of good governance". The same is true about research into vaccines and other medications that have benefited everyone. Topics will include the science of winemaking and baking, climate change and environmental conservation.

With the change in political attitude toward science-based policy, many local scientists in Spokane have come together to make their voices heard.

One may wonder why something as broad as science would merit a march. Words alone can have enough of an impact; but more importantly, the president is now in a position to act on those words, including upending funding and support for scientific research.

"Scientists started breaking out spontaneously in the Women's March", and several of them connected on social media to forge the plans for a demonstration in support of science, he said. I am anxious that my granddaughter, now 2 1/2-years-old, will grow up to live in a world strikingly different from that we enjoyed and prospered from during the last half of the 20th century.

And it should not be a one-off event.