On April 22 last year, more than one million people worldwide took part in the first March for Science, a protest that brought scientists and non-scientists together in support of fact-based evidence and against science funding cuts and climate change denial. The story of that day is documented in a new book called Science Not Silence: Voices from the March for Science Movement by Stephanie Fine Sasse and Lucky Tran.
I was not able to attend the first March for Science, but I did march in the second. April 14, 2018 was a 71-degree day in New York City. My family and I joined the crowd at Washington Square Park and walked down Broadway to chants of “Science Not Silence,” “What do we want? Science! When do we want it? After peer review!” and inexplicably, “No coffee? No science!”
The crowd (highly under-totaled by the right-wing media) was mostly well received by passersby, which included cheerful residents in the surrounding buildings waving at us from their windows, construction workers, and even a rooftop double-decker bus tour guide… all except one middle-aged lady in fancy clothes who walked down the line giving us an enthusiastic thumbs down. I watched as she boo-ed the staff of Mount Sinai hospital who works hard every day to save people’s lives. It’s hard to believe that anyone living in modern society with electricity and running water and not being dead of Polio could be anti-science. But then if that were the case, we wouldn’t need to march.
A couple women in front of me with sketchpads were drawing the scene they saw as they walked the march, which was pretty cool. I took a few sketches, too, but not while I was walking: