Kolkata, April 21
Joining people in over 500 cities across the world, Coimbatore in India will “stand up for science” in the world’s first ever March for Science on Saturday.
On Earth Day (Saturday), scientists are set to ditch their labs and hit the streets, in what is being dubbed as the largest ever protest by science advocates against US President Donald Trump.
The march is seen by international organisers as “a global effort to push back against a political climate that has become increasingly hostile toward sound, evidence-based science and its value to society.” The flagship event will kick off in Washington DC at 9 a.m. while as many as 605 satellite marches will roll out across the world with people — scientists, science advocates, educators and concerned citizens — marching together in support of science’s role in society and policy. Two such marches in India are officially listed with the March for Science website, one at Coimbatore and the other at Hyderabad. Bhutan and Nepal have also signed up for the event. The march has spread to African nations such as Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda, Europe, UK, Australia, South Korea and Japan among others.
In Coimbatore, the organisation for science education, School of Science, is organising the satellite march around the city’s race course. “Being the only event (we have no updates on the march in Hyderabad as of now) in India, we technically stand with March for Science,” Arjhun Swaminathan of the organisation told IANS.
“We are expecting over 200 people to march with us on the 22nd. We here at Coimbatore are marching to bring a new era in science education in the city,” said Swaminathan. He believes the event will motivate more people to stand up for what they believe in and act as a wake up call to those who have lost hope of changing the world. “During the march however, we will try to spread the message that Science has never been a cause of destruction,” he said. According to some of the international organisers, Earth Day Network, American Geophysical Union, National Science Teachers Association and Carnegie Science, “defending science, innovation and discovery is an absolute must in every community throughout the world.” The global event follows the Women’s March on January 21 where more than one million people marched across the world to show support for women’s rights and express their discontent over the election of Trump who has called climate change a “hoax.”
Trump recently signed an executive order rolling back Obama-era rules aimed at curbing global warming by moving away from fossil fuels.
“There is enough evidence for global warming yet the government is going against what is supposed to be done. It is time for masses to go out and tell the whole world that we believe in science,” added Swaminathan.
Kolkata, April 21