This past weekend was not only Earth Day but also the March for Science. Over 600 countries participated in the march to include the influence science in the making of policy. Marchers were armed with lab coats, brain hats and witty signs. Despite the rain, Philadelphia was no exception to this.
The march was led (literally) by Ben Franklin. At the beginning people gathered at city hall. From there the march kicked-off promptly at 11:00am and went down Market Street to Front Street, Front Street to Chestnut Street and then over Chestnut Street to Penn’s Landing – Great Plaza. Entertainment began at 11:30am featuring local band, The Really Cooks, and the March for Science PHL speakers started speaking at 12noon. The event lasted until 2pm.
As stated on the March for Science Philadelphia website: “Philadelphia is home to more than 530,000 STEM jobs, a wealth of academic institutions that graduate more than 37,000 STEM majors annually and a research and development machine which was awarded more than $1 billion in NIH funding in the past 5 years. While many Philadelphians appreciate the vital role that science plays in our everyday lives, recent shifts in the public discourse have shown that we need to better communicate our methods and findings to our communities. That is why this year on Saturday, April 22, Philadelphia will join cities from across the world in a March for Science.
The nationwide March for Science movement has five overarching goals: humanize science, support the scientific process and scientists, advocate for accessible and inclusive science, partner with the public, and enable the use of science to improve society. Each of these values speaks to Philadelphia’s own scientific community and highlights some unique challenges that our region faces.”
An estimated 25,000 people in the Philly area participated. Here’s some snapshots of cool signs and costumes from the march, right here in the city of brotherly love:
It was a beautiful turnout from a group of people who are typically considered introverted. Marches like this prime the public into being more receptive to the influence of science in society. With the March for science being such a clear success, who knows where the momentum of this march will bring us next? It’s amazing to see how many care so deeply about the Earth and it’s future.