Tucson rally has crowd preaching "Science Not Silence" - Tucson News Now

Tucson rally has crowd preaching "Science Not Silence"

Source: KOLD Source: KOLD
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A rally in downtown Tucson mirrored marches around the country. Supporters were fighting for science advocacy, with many in the crowd of more than a thousand people feeling lawmakers are not doing enough.

They screamed that message loud, and celebrated it with song and dance. March for Science Tucson organizers said they are rallying to promote the need for more funding for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) programs and agencies. 

On their website, the group said they are sending the message "to current and future presidents that we need research-based legislation and policy." The site explains the goal of the march is to take a stand and share the rallying cry of "Science Not Silence!"

There were all types of supporters in attendance at Saturday's rally, from those on stage with a microphone in-hand like Justin Walker to those strolling among the crowds like Sergio Avila.

"Things have become too politicized in Washington, D.C." Walker, a science researcher, told Tucson News Now.

"What we need to do is understand science. We need to support the use of science," said Avila, a wildlife biologist.

Understanding is what they want from the White House, where President Trump has been outspoken against funding some science research efforts. 

"That includes a promise to cancel billions and billions of dollars in climate change spending for the United Nations," President Trump told a campaign rally crowd in October 2016.

His message was more muted this Saturday, on Earth Day. President Trump issued a statement, saying that "rigorous science depends not on ideology, but on a spirit of honest inquiry and robust debate," and that his administration is "committed to keeping our air and water clean, to preserving our forests, lakes and open spaces and to protecting endangered species."
Although, he says that won't be done in a way that harms "working families" and says the government is "reducing unnecessary burdens on American workers and American companies, while being mindful that our actions must also protect the environment."

It's any anti-science message that has Walker worried.

"I don't necessarily think it's new, per se. I think it's on a trajectory where it has escalated to a point where it's almost untenable in Congress," he said. "We look at some of the things that are going on related to the way politics in Washington, D.C. are handled. Things that most scientists would consider objective, empirically justified findings are being quashed for political purposes. So the idea is that if we remain vigilant, and we pay attention to those things, we can maybe stem the tide of some of that activity."

Their constituents, like Avila, want lawmakers to listen.

"When they see the support of this community and the diversity of this community and the diversity of issues that this community cares about, they will see that science is a way to inform those decisions."

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