On Sunday, hundreds of scientists gathered in the surroundings of Copley Square in Boston, Massachusetts to protest the Trump administration for new policy pieces like the Muslim Ban that directly threaten their work.
The rally happened just outside the Hynes Convention Center, where the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) was holding its Annual General Meeting. This year’s meeting had “Serving Society Through Science Policy” as the central theme.
Scientists carried signs and wore lab coats to Stand Up For Science, in an unprecedented demonstration that will only get bigger come April. A March for Science will be held in Washington D.C. on Earth Day.
The science community speaks out to demand their rights
The controversial views and decisions taken by the new administration in the field of science have made scientists come out of the labs, drop the instruments, and pick up the signs to make their voices heard.
The Union organized Sunday’s rally for Concerned Scientists, the Natural History Museum, ClimateTruth, Greenpeace USA, and the Mass Sierra Club. The AAAS remained neutral to the protest, but several speakers at the meeting also spoke in Coupley Square.
One such scientist was Dr. Jacquelyn Gill, who talked to the Guardian about the concerns she and her colleagues shared about policies that could affect the nature of their work.
Gill, an ecologist at the University of Maine, said she was particularly worried about losing the EPA. The agency is currently headed by Scott Pruitt, an open climate change denier who sued the entity 14 times in the past from his position as Attorney General of Oklahoma.
“A LOT OF SCIENTISTS ARE REALIZING THAT THE INSTITUTIONS THAT FUND AND SUPPORT SCIENCE IN THIS COUNTRY – SCIENCE FOR EVERYONE, PUBLICLY FUNDED AND TRANSPARENT – ARE UNDER ATTACK,” she said.
The speaker told journalists that she and some others are considering running for a Congress seat next year, from which they can fight more directly for the causes they defend.
Scientists fear Trump’s policies against science
The science community sees with increasing concerns the seemingly harmless practice the Trump administration has of dismissing evidence-based facts.
For a cabinet that boasts about ‘fake news’ and the media being against them so much, the new Washington establishment sure is quick to shush any dissenting voices that present ‘alternative facts’ they do not agree with.
Just days after Donald Trump took office, the EPA and the USDA issued gag orders that prevented scientists from communicating openly with the public through regular channels.
The government also removed references to climate change from official websites, and it is rumored they are planning to cut off an entire office of the Energy Department, the one dealing with renewable energy nonetheless.
The March for Science will be the next major demonstration by the community in the United States. Science advocates will march to the National Mall and hold a rally there on April 22, Earth Day.
Source: The Guardian