This year's "March for Science" was about more than science — it was also about public education, indigenous rights and national politics. U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi, D-California, spoke to gathering of about 250 people Saturday morning at Cal Anderson Park.
This year’s “March for Science” was about more than science — it was also about public education, indigenous rights and national politics.
“We have some concerns about where people in Washington, D.C., are on science,” U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said to around 250 people gathered at Cal Anderson Park on a drizzly Saturday morning. The gathering was among dozens held in cities across the country for the second annual march but failed to capture the fervor, or the crowds, of the thousands who attended the march last year.
Pelosi went on to attack “some members of Congress” for not supporting education. “Public education teaches critical thinking, and ‘we can’t have that.’ Can you believe that’s where some members of Congress are?”
“Enough is enough,” said Jamie Margolin, a 16-year-old student at Holy Names Academy, who followed Pelosi on the podium. “We are poisoning the world for young people.”
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Bystanders held signs reading “politicians will tell you what you want to hear, science will show you what you need to know” and “without science we’d still be in the dark ages.” Some members of a group in Star Wars costumes held signs saying “now you’ve pissed off the nerds!”
TJ Greene, a former Makah Tribal Council Chair and current board member of the Nature Conservancy, said indigenous knowledge and science were “essentially complementary.”
“Indigenous cultures in the Northwest have lived in this place, and know how things are connected through their observation, which is scientific knowledge,” he said.
Mike Stevens, Washington State director of the Nature Conservancy, said the group’s projects — such as mapping 2.7 million acres of potentially fire-prone forests in rural Eastern Washington — are a boon to rural economies as well as the environment.
Those forests can be managed by trimming, which could boost local jobs and reduce the fire hazards for people living in the area.
“Nature,” Stevens said, “unites us.”
Meanwhile, on the podium, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal called for the ouster of Republican Scott Pruitt, who heads the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), calling him “a corrupt, greedy cabinet secretary.”
The crowd applauded. “I firmly believe science is the vehicle toward wisdom,” she said. “Science is what allows us to all be better off.”