Scientists plan April 22 protest march

Scientists plan April 22 protest march

CHAMPAIGN — Scientists locally and across the country say they've had enough of the Trump Administration not supporting science in the way they feel it should be.

So on April 22 — in Champaign, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere — they're planning "March for Science" events to raise awareness to some of the crippling cuts that have been proposed in areas of science.

"Our march is nonpartisan, but we're all affected by science constantly in our daily lives," said Elizabeth Shack, co-chair of the Champaign-Urbana March for Science. "It's not just academics at the university doing basic research. It's affecting agriculture, which is really big in this area. It is affecting health care, medicine research, engineering."

In recent weeks, the administration has proposed cutting Environmental Protection Agency funding by nearly one-third, taking $2.6 billion away from a $8.2 billion budget.

The National Institute of Health could also see its budget slashed — from $30 billion to about $24 billion.

"The United States has been the leader in research universities, research and medicine, all these advances, and it's really frightening to think how far behind we can fall if we aren't supporting research, if we aren't bringing in people from all over the world who are the best and brightest," Shack said.

The march is being held on April 22 to coincide with Earth Day, and a primary focus will be on climate change.

"It's really frightening to look at everything right now with what's going on in the government with putting gag orders on the EPA and other departments, cutting funding by ridiculous amounts," Shack said. "We really want to make people aware that these are important things that can be affected in a really bad way."

The C-U march will originate from the Orpheum Children's Museum at about 5 p.m., with a heavy focus on youth being front and center.

After all, Shack said, "the people that are in school now and learning are going to be the scientists of the future."

Shack said based on Facebook feedback and volunteer sign-ups, several hundred people are expected to attend the march.

Speakers will include UI faculty members, local scientists and high school students, she said.

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Rocky7 wrote on March 24, 2017 at 3:03 pm

I am an experienced scientist, including experience with government relations.  Be assured a march for science will accomplish absolutely nothing. It's a feel good publicity stunt only,

People need to remember that the presidents budget is a PROPOSAL subject to congressional approval, modificaiton and change. Even membrs of Trump' own party pronounced his proposal as "Dead on Arrival." SO, the march is pointless.