With more than 600 communities joining forces for science, thousands of scientists, students, and supporters rallied in Washington and from all over the world on Saturday in protest to US President Donald Trump’s threats of budget cuts to agencies funding scientists’ evidence-based research.
“Protecting the government’s investment in science, particularly when that includes funding for public engagement, is incredibly important,” British Science Association chief executive Katherine Mathieson said. “Science is not just for scientists, and I believe that all of us, whether we work in a lab or not, should have a voice on its future.”
Supporters show the importance of science in the different aspects of mankind’s future. Photo by Live Science
Matieson also said she hoped the marches would be a catalyst for people to think about the role science plays in their lives and a chance for scientists to demonstrate the public benefit of their work.
In March, Trump outlined a budget proposal with $54 billion cuts across government programs including science, to make way for an increase in defense spending.
US scientists expressed their fear on the plan that would have a major impact on research and science-based policy as well as undermine the importance of science in society and limit future innovation.
“Science is really important, and the current administration is making decisions that are counter to climate change, genetically modified food and vaccinations,” Joni Wright, a neurophysiology graduate student at the University of Florida, told CNN.
Starting in Australia, marches were also held in New Zealand, London, Durban and Cape Town, South Africa, and in Tokyo, among others.