Saturday was Earth Day and Utahns joined the March for Science taking place at more than 600 locations worldwide. They celebrated science at five Utah marches and also denounced anti-science policies and politicians.
It wasn’t too hard for M.C. Denni Cawley to get the Salt Lake City crowd going.
“Say it with me,” said the director of the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, “Science, not silence. Science, not silence.”
Cawley introduced speakers from a podium at the bottom of the Utah State Capitol steps. “Science makes America great. Science makes America great.”
The focus was on honoring science and the people who do it. Nobel Laureate Mario Capecchi said practitioners need to do a better job explaining their work so people and policymakers are more inclined to embrace the informed solutions that scientist have to offer.
“Science does hold the key to solving many of the most challenging problems that we are facing today and tomorrow,.” he said
Olivia Miller, one of the event organizers, was pleased with the outcome: a turnout of more than 3,000 people turned out, according to Utah Highway Patrol estimates. Miller called it an opportunity for scientists to rally support for the valuable work they do, and recalled a researcher who’d attended.
“She had a sign that said, ‘I’m a scientist,” Miller said. “Ask me about my worms, and her research is all about biochemistry and finding cures for diseases.”
Some marchers wore pink protest hats made famous during the Women’s March in January. Others carried signs critical of the Trump administration, anti-science attitudes and feared cuts to science budgets. But there was lots of discussion about the good scientists do and the benefits science and technology offer society. And that’s how the march concluded.
“Do you believe in science? Yes!