Hundreds convened in Boston’s Copley Square on Sunday in a show of solidarity with the scientific community, to protest against what organizers highlighted in a press release as “the attacks on climate science and the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) mounted by elected officials.”
Orchestrated by The Natural History Museum and ClimateTruth.org, the rally was held outside of the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), one of the first major gatherings of scientists since the election.
Speakers present at the event urged the public to get involved in discussions relating to science and research by combatting fake news, and the Trump administration’s policies- including the muzzling of scientists, the recent immigration ban, and the appointment of Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s Attorney General, as head of the E.P.A.
“Scientists are heroes – they solve problems and protect the people and places we love,” said Beka Economopoulos, director of The Natural History Museum.
“Health care, climate science, and research on lead levels and water quality all protect people,” she said. “The Trump administration’s attacks on science are attacks on our families, our communities, and our collective future.”
Gabriel Cadamuro, 25, a student at the University of Washington, was at the rally and said that the Trump administration has been showing “a lack of understanding, a wilful disregard that represents a turn to authoritarianism.”
The rally came a day after The Boston Globe reported that rising sea levels may force city officials to build a protective sea barrier around the Boston Harbor, and two days after the election of Pruitt.
Supporters hooted and clapped as the speakers urged them to get involved in scientific debates through debate and dialogue. Most speakers were members of the scientific community and were dressed in white lab coats, holding up signs in the shape of beakers and clip-boards, that read “SCIENTISTS SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER.”
Attendee Virginia Pratt (left), 59, said “Climate Change is our biggest challenge and I am absolutely horrified by the current administration’s attempts to turn back the clock and ignore its perils.”
Beginning at noon, the rally was wound up by 1:30 p.m., with members of the crowd staying behind briefly to click pictures. The parting words to the crowd was a chant initiated by Economopoulos- “What do we do when science and research is under attack?" "STAND UP FIGHT BACK"
A larger, national rally for science is scheduled for April 22 in Washington D.C.. Find an interactive map of Global Science rallies here: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/02/marches-science-one-global-interactive-map