INDIANA — On Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, people took to the streets in over 600 cities in participation of locally organized Marches for Science.
Once a non-politicized subject, many feel the current administration’s plans to cut funding in scientific areas, including massive cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute of Health, as well as plans to slash policies that set regulations for air and water pollution, is hindering the future of America.
According to the March for Science official webpage, “The March for Science is a celebration of science. It’s not only about scientists and politicians; it is about the very real role that science plays in each of our lives and the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world.”
It was estimated by March for Science Indianapolis that 10,000 people gathered in front of the Indiana State House, Indianapolis, to march in the name of science and evidence-based policy. The energy was high as people of all ages listened to a variety of speakers, ranging from local Hoosier professors and educators to Defenders of Wildlife, Washington, DC, attorney Jason Rylander. Many attendants carried signs of scientific support, puns and quotes. Some even marched in their professional lab coats.
KC Recycling Depot Director Shelly Heckert was among those in attendance for the march. “I really wanted to attend to show support for fact based decision making in the legislation. It is so important to make decisions based on data,” she said. Of all the signs at the march, Heckert says her favorite was one that said, “There is no Planet B,” commenting that “we must fight to keep protecting this one and only home that we have.”
When it comes to national rankings in math and science amongst industrialized nations, the United States doesn’t crack the top ten. In fact, math skills fall below the world average. In Indianapolis the message of the event was clear: Outside of the impact to environmental and health sectors, people don’t want to see America fall any lower in education.