Thousands around the world rally in the name of science on Earth Day

World Today

Thousands around the world rally in the name of science

Millions of people around the world are marking Earth Day, aimed at expanding awareness about the environment. Among them were those working in science, a field they say is increasingly under fire.

CGTN’s Frances Kuo has more from the March for Science in Washington, D.C.

Thousands around the world rally in the name of science on Earth Day

Millions of people around the world are marking Earth Day, aimed at expanding awareness about the environment. Among them were those working in science, a field they say is increasingly under fire. CGTN's Frances Kuo has more from the March for Science in Washington, D.C.

All day, the rain never let up. Neither did the thousands who gathered at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and marched to the U.S. Capitol.

Rallies of this size are common in the nation’s capital. However, what was unique this time was who was attending and the cause that brought them there.

“I have a real deep concern that science, the practice of science, is under threat,” Arnie Miller, a geology professor at the University of Cincinnati said.

Allison Rahs is a middle school science teacher who also attended Saturday’s rally.

“Since I was a little kid, science was so important, being outdoors, seeing nature,” said Rahs, as she fought back tears.

Rahs said it’s been difficult to separate politics from science these days, with U.S. President Donald Trump in office. Trump has proposed major budget cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and dismissed climate change as a hoax.

Rahs worries scientists are unfairly losing credibility. “We’re not just nerds sitting in a laboratory, we want to make change, we want to make the world a better place,” Rahs said.

Miller didn’t consider the March for Science political. For him, it’s a chance for scientists like him to step out of the lab and into the limelight.

“Too often scientists isolate themselves in their work and don’t reach out as much as they can to public discourse and to help educate people,” Miller said.

This March for Science isn’t the only one taking place. More than 600 cities around the world are hosting rallies, including in Sydney, London and Berlin.

“I think when people find the truth inconvenient, it’s very easy for them to start to ignore that, and I think it’s our part as scientists to make sure that we’re getting messages across effectively,” one protester in Sydney said.

“Science doesn’t tell society what to do, ever. But what it does provide is a foundation of knowledge, evidence-based knowledge, that let’s society make good decisions, and we want to stand up for that way of doing things,” Dr. Helen Czerski, a physicist and lecturer at University College London said.

The scientists and their supporters say they are well aware change doesn’t happen overnight. However, they say bringing about awareness about the value of science is a start.

“I think babies are scientists, we start out trying to learn about the world, how does this work?” Jesse Alexander, a former electrical engineer and now technical writer said. “We are all scientists in a sense, it’s just what humans do.”


Kari Fulton talks about climate change and the March for Science

To discuss climate change and the March for Science, CGTN’s Susan Roberts sopke to Kari Fulton. She’s an advocate for environmental justice.

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