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Why March for Science on Earth Day: Mr. Trump support science, not silence

Tens of thousands will March for Science on the streets of Washington DC on Earth Day, 22 April. Sponsoring partner The Nature Conservancy explains why science is vital to the planet’s well-being.

Supporters and enthusiasts will March for Science on the streets of the United States capital Washington DC on the 22nd of April: the occasion is Earth Day, established by the United Nations to celebrate our planet and act against the threats that face it. The motive is to protest neo-president Donald Trump‘s retrograde stance towards climate change and the environment. A popular mobilisation under the banner of the chant “Science not silence” to call out the current government’s denial of global warming, repealing of Obama’s Clean Power Act and, possibly, the country’s exit from the Paris Agreements signed at COP 21. And its undermining of scientific research that discredits its anti-environmental policies.

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The March for Science on Washington DC will take place on the 22nd of April, on Earth Day © Alice Donovan Rouse/Unsplash

The March for Science movement

The seeds of the March for Science, which is being held in partnership with the Earth Day Network, were planted in the aftermath of Trump’s inauguration on the 20th of January. Just like the Women’s March on Washington – when up to a million people took to the streets of the US capital to demand that the president protect women and minority rights the day after his inauguration – the movement for science and against its silencing is rooted in online mobilisation. From a post on social news aggregator Reddit in response to the White House’s removal of the page on its website dedicated to climate change, it has grown rapidly on social media: “the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments”, its website says.

“The March for Science is a celebration of science. It’s not only about scientists and politicians; it is about the very real role that science plays in each of our lives and the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world”.

The Nature Conservancy, why March for Science

The Nature Conservancy, based in Arlington, in the US state of Virginia, is one of the most important environmental organisations in the world, working to protect ecologically important lands and waters since 1951 – and is a sponsoring partner of the March for Science. In fact, with a team of 600 scientists working all over the world it has been guided by science to achieve its mission to protect the natural resources on which all life depends since its inception.

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Night-time satellite images of the United States taken by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, one of the country’s leading scientific organisations © Nasa/Unsplash

Science provides the tools to overcome threats such as climate change, deforestation and overfishing, Hugh Possingham, chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy, believes. Tens of thousands of people are expected to participate in support of the March for Science all around the world: a critical mass demanding that their elected officials invest in scientific research “as the foundation of a strong, healthy and productive society”, Possingham reminds us in this article. “I and others across The Nature Conservancy will join those marchers to raise awareness of the central role science plays in conserving the natural systems we all rely upon for survival” because “around the world, governments, businesses and communities are using science to support jobs, feed families, power cities and protect nature. That’s why, to me, science means hope”.

For those who can’t participate in the march physically they can show their support online, for example signing The Nature Conservancy’s pledge to March for Science. Stand with Nature. To tell governments the world over that we the people firmly believe that knowledge and research can help us better our societies and protect our planet.

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