Science Not Silence

April 26, 2017 1:25 PM

Members of join thousands of people in San Francisco’s Justin Herman Plaza to advocate for scientific research and advancement. Many groups joined a March for
Science to oppose the Trump
administration’s proposed cutbacks on federal agencies promoting science.

San Francisco protests Trump science policies

By Adrienne Miller
Tower Staff Writer

On Earth Day, April 22, tens of thousands of people gathered in downtown San Francisco to advocate for scientific research and advancement.

Opposing the Trump Administration’s proposed cutbacks on federal agencies promoting science, the protesters also rallied in support of their comrades and allies in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields.

The proclaimed goals of the March for Science were communication, funding, policy, literacy, and diversity.

According to the organizers, the Science March was aimed at celebrating “public discovery, understanding, and distribution of scientific knowledge as crucial to the freedom, success, health, and safety of life on this planet.”

The march began as a rally in Justin Herman Plaza across from San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Terminal Building.

The march aimed to celebrate the science ‘crucial to the safety of life on this planet.’

The crowd spilled over from the plaza into Market Street carrying witty, poignant, and science-oriented signs that read, “Science Not Silence,” “Science Saves Lives – Fund Research,” “Independent Science by and For the People,” and “EPA – May the Force Be With You!”

People wearing lab coats, Star Wars and Star Trek paraphernalia, and dinosaur outfits filled the crowd. The Science March began at 12:30 p.m. and slowly weaved its way up Market Street, ending at Civic Center plaza.

At Civic Center, a science fair was set up with booths to “provide an opportunity for all ages to engage, create, discover, and connect.”

The main impetus for the San Francisco Science March, as well as sister science marches around the country, was in reaction to the Trump administration’s stance on science and environmental policies.

For example, according to the Washington Post, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is facing a $2.6 billion (31 percent) budget cut for 2018, as compared to the 2017 budget.

Protesters hoist homemade signs proclaiming their disdain for climate change denial at the April 22 March for Science in San Francisco. Demonstrations were held in over 600 cities worldwide, celebrating science and expressing skepticism toward the Trump administration’s climate policies, including the rolling back of environmental regulations.

The EPA established and enforces the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, as well as regulates toxic waste disposal and Superfund sites.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is also facing a $5 billion (21 percent) budget cut.

The USDA works to implement food safety regulations, protect natural resources, and support farmers.

The Trump administration also plans to eliminate funding for 19 federal agencies including the Chemical Safety Board and Denali Commission, which provides critical government support to Alaska.

Protesters vow to continue the marches against the Trump administration as long as vulnerable federal programs remain on the chopping block.

Adrienne Miller is a Tower Staff Photographer and Writer.

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