Why We March: Portraits Of The March For Science

From the bees to a better future, nerds and Nobel laureates alike give us their reasons why.

On April 22nd, thousands of scientists, teachers, and nerds of all stripes (not to mention luminaries like Bill Nye, Questlove, Rush Holt, and Jonathan Bastite) gathered on the grounds of the Washington Monument to march for scienceScience Friday was there to ask the participants a simple question: Why are you marching?

Name: Maya
From: Delaware
Why I’m Marching: “I actually just finished my science fair project. Fighting for science is my number one thing.”
Name: Dan
From: Delaware
Why I’m Marching: “I think it’s important more than ever to have people who actually have degrees in science to be making the laws and legislation that govern us for science and science-related issues.”
Name: Bonnie, Lenny, Syvlie and Melody
From: Virginia
Why We’re Marching: “Oh, my sign says, ‘Southerners for Science.’ Science is a family value. It’s something we all believe in. It’s something we do in our free time. It helps us explore the world.”
“Mine says ‘Save the bees!’ Because my dad, he made a bee box, and he came to my classroom yesterday, and he taught us a little more about bees. Some of the honey bees, there’s not that much [sic] anymore.”
“I want my girls to see this. I insist for women and girls. I’m wearing a shirt that says, ‘STEMinist’ because I’m a staunch feminist and I believe that feminism and science go hand in hand.”
Name: Nobel laureate William D. Phillips
From: Maryland
Why I’m Marching: “I think people are forgetting all of the things that science gives us. When people talk about cutting funding for science, what they’re talking about is cutting off the future benefits that science gives to us. And science has served us so well, and continues to serve us well today, why would you think it would be a good idea to stop doing that?”
Name: Briana
From: Pennsylvania
Why I’m Marching: “I’m a biology and environmental science major, so this is the first kind of rally I’ve been to like this. I want to go into scientific research or, potentially, environmental policy, and just to know that the research I do would be listened to, or enact policies that would be for the benefit of everyone.”
Name: Ana
From: North Carolina
Why I’m Marching: “I work more from the point of view of public health. In my experience, we know that we need more women doing research. We need to educate girls, you know, they can do this. But more importantly, we need women in power positions, and decision-making positions.”
Name: Paul
Why I’m Marching: “Our greatness, as a nation, is because we have science and technology. So never ever did I imagine that anybody would say, ‘Cut support for science.’ We need to communicate what we do in a better way perhaps. I mean scientists, the way we talk sometimes, doesn’t get across. But we need to point out what we do and the importance of it. And I think we will prevail.”
Special thanks to Daniel Peterschmidt and Brandon Echter.

Credit: Rose Wong

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About Alexa Lim

Alexa Lim was a senior producer for Science Friday. Her favorite stories involve space, sound, and strange animal discoveries.

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Danielle D. Johnson is Science Friday’s executive director (a.k.a. scary boss). She’s also a huge Mets fan and Giants fan. She hates zucchini, unless it’s zucchini bread.

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