On Saturday, April 22, over 50,000 people gathered to celebrate Earth Day at the Los Angeles March for Science. Among the thousands that gathered in downtown L.A.’s Pershing Square were a group of 12 students and faculty representing the W.M. Keck Science Department, who marched in support of continued federal funding for science as well as in celebration of the crucial role science plays in the advancement of our society. Participants marched together to City Hall, where they listened to speeches addressing environmental issues and encouraging people to become politically involved.
According to Associate Professor of Biology Lars Schmitz, “We are currently witnessing a very unusual and misguided ignorance of science and reason. But without science, without reason, without the ability to tell apart truth from falsehoods we wouldn’t have the many things that make our lives better: vaccinations, antibiotics, technology, and many other important achievements. That’s why I march for science.”
Also attending the march were Claire Boom ’20 and Josefine Ekholm ’20, both members of Scripps’s Ocean Initiative Club. Boom, who is passionate about science and environmental conservation, viewed the march as an opportunity to connect with Keck staff and fellow students. “We saw so many creative signs and costumes, and the event cultivated a really positive atmosphere,” she says. “Overall, it was a great experience to be able to connect with like-minded individuals in this way, and be part of something bigger than myself for a good cause.”
Schmitz agrees, adding, “The March for Science was an incredibly positive and strong statement for the importance of science and reason. The turnout was amazing and overwhelming.”