Despite cool temperatures around 900 people gathered in Dayton’s Courthouse Square Saturday for a rally in support of science. The Earth Day March for Science was one of 15 across Ohio timed to coincide with more than 600 marches nationwide, including on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and around the world.
“The idea, really, is that we are trying to celebrate the sciences. We’re trying to bring the sciences together and show that it’s really a non-partisan issue rather than, ‘is it a left issue, is it a right issue’. It’s really just a humanitarian issue,” said march organizer Eric Eby.
A March for Science national organization statement said the worldwide day of action was needed to, “defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments.”
A long line of marchers carried signs as they walked in and around the square. A small, but vocal, group of religious counterprotesters was also present at the rally.
“I’m here because I’m concerned about global warming and also for funding for medical research in the United States,” said Nakul Vyas. “I’m hoping there will be some concrete actions taken to remain in the Paris climate accords, and it would be nice if we kept the previous administration’s stance on the clean energy plan having to do with the coal power plants.”
President Donald Trump has said science is critical to the nation’s economic growth.
But he has taken steps to roll back a host of regulations aimed at curtailing greenhouse gas emissions. The president’s recent budget blueprint also proposed steep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institutes of Health.
Protester Mama Nozipo, 73, said opposition to the Trump administration's environmental and energy policies motivated her to attend the march.
“If we’re sitting down and not saying anything they’ll think everything they’re doing is alright. We have to make sure that they know that what they’re doing is wrong, and we are not going to allow it,” she said.
More about The March for Science.