March for science events take place around the globe

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23 April, 2017

"Brazil had a cut in the science and technology budget of nearly 50 percent this year", Tatiana Rappoport, a professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro told Public Radio International. Not only has Trump begun to rip apart key domestic and global environmental regulations and safeguards, has targeted science and research with budget cuts, filled his administration with climate change deniers and seems intent on reviving the U.S's dirty industry in his plan for jobs.

"I wouldn't say that it is fundamentaly because of Donald Trump, but there's no question that there's been concern in recent months about all sorts of things", Holt continued.

The main event for science is being anchored in Washington, D.C., where organizers say it's political, but not partisan.

An additional 600 "satellite" marches were scheduled to take place around the world, according to organizers.

Lowell Jarvis, a 57-year-old air and water quality expert, said he agreed with Trump on some issues, but not the cuts on funding for research.

Marchers in Geneva carried signs that said, "Science - A Candle in the Dark" and "Science is the Answer".

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"We connect people of all ages to the possibilities and power of science to create a better future". But online, where people are sharing their cleverest signs, the march is playing out as a rebuttal to the Trump administration's attempts to destabilize science and technology.

"They're targeting the Trump administration and they're saying that any politician who tries to undermine science, ruin trust in science, or politically motivate funding of science, particularly climate change, is a risk and they want to speak out against that".

Led by two electric massive electric Hummers, several thousand people marched in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday.

"I will be marching in London on Saturday not so much to fly the flag for science-though I believe it is something worth celebrating-but because I think that in these fractious political times, when we are facing challenges that are truly global, it has never been more important for scientists to go public", said Stephen Curry, vice-chair of Science is Vital and Professor of structural biology at Imperial College, London. "'We need to make more of our decisions based on facts again and less on emotions", said Meike Weltin, a doctorate student at an environmental institute near the capital.

The march comes as many Americans are pessimistic about the environment.

Supporters gathered outside the Science Museum in Kensington, bearing placards on which double helices and chemical symbols sat alongside political slogans. "The truth is we should have been marching for science 30 years ago, 20 years, 10 years ago", said co-organizer and public health researcher Caroline Weinberg. Thousands of scientists worldwide left their labs to take to the streets Saturday along with students and research advocates in pushing back against what they say are mounting attacks on science. "That is a pretty serious attack not on just science but just on being human".


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