York faculty, staff and students take part in the March for Science

Earth Day (April 22) saw scientists from around the world take part in the March for Science, an event to highlight and celebrate the importance of science in our lives.

The event brought researchers, citizen scientists, academics and science buffs of all ages to the streets to demonstrate and defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies and governments.

York U faculty, staff and students took part in Saturday’s March for Science in Toronto. Photo courtesy: Laurence Harris

Marches took place in 600 cities in 68 countries. The protest was mobilized to protest the policies of American President Donald Trump, who has slashed funding scientists and for climate change research, along with many other areas including deep cuts of more than 20 per cent to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Some 3,000 people took part in the Toronto March for Science, which closed Bay Street in downtown Toronto.

York University faculty, staff and students were in the thick of it. York Librarian John Dupuis was one of the keynote presenters at the Toronto March for Science. Dupuis is currently a science and engineering librarian at York University’s Steacie Library. Since 2013, he has been using his librarian superpowers to keep track of how governments are ignoring scientific and other evidence in their decision making or attacking science and the environment in their policies, first with the Stephen Harper Conservatives here in Canada and now Trump in the USA. He blogs at Confessions of a Science Librarian and tweets at @dupuisj.

More about the March for Science

The March for Science champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. Scientists around the world have united as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence-based policies in the public interest.

The March for Science is 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.

The event was not without controversy in that it has generated a great deal of conversation around whether or not scientists should involve themselves in politics. In the face of an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery, scientists worldwide have a unified reply: “There is no Planet B.”