March For Science Chicago

Stacy Sammul

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After recent policy changes in Washington have threatened the future of the scientific community and the Earth, the scientific community across the globe marched together Earth Day morning. On Saturday, April 22, I boarded a train from Elburn, IL and headed to downtown Chicago. I had no idea when I left at 5:30 that morning that I was about to be part of one of the largest marches in the nation. Over 500 cities in the US and 600 cities total worldwide took to the streets to support science. Each march had various speakers and activities to promote science awareness with the hope that if we yelled loud enough, the powers that be may hear us.

 

Ralliers gathered along the river at Franklin Fountain to listen to keynote speakers; chief sustainability officer for the City of Chicago from 2011 to 2016, Karen Weigert, CEO of Rheaply, Garyry Cooper, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Rush University, Dr. Lee Bitsoi, The Field Museum’s Chief Curiosity Correspondent and host of the science YouTube channel, The Brain Scoop, Emily Graslie, and the winner of the 8th grade essay contest.

Snapchat offered it’s support for the event with fun filters

Scientists, Science lovers, and those just looking for a reason to walk united to celebrate all of the wonderful things that science has brought us and to make a plea to the government to recognize the importance of sciences role in government.

Two young girls stop to help the drummer in the marching band play Lean on Me.

This woman marched the whole parade with these giant bees strapped to her back which were held up on steel rods. The Windy City really tested the strength of her back!

Mother Earth seemed to show up to every march across the country.

These two scientists from the “Mad Scientists Union” shared stories about nuclear physics and shared a cab with us.

Scientists got creative with their costumes.

The signs were the best part of the march, this woman went all out making herself a nucleus for change.

This stab at the president got a few good laughs from marchers.

Sometimes you don’t need a fancy sign to get your point across.

This man happened upon the perfect sign while thrift store shopping the week before the march. Take that flat-Earthers!

Participants even dressed up as their favorite science characters including Bill Nye, Beaker from The Muppets, Rick from Rick and Morty among others.

Scientists were happy to share their research, like this young scientist who was studying the brine shrimp populations in Lake Michigan.

Haley Greene tests the neuroplasticity in her brain with this fun bean bag toss activity at the post-event expo.

A street artist uses chalk to decorate the sidewalk in front of the Field Museum with science themed designs.

Haley Greene tries on a parka and gloves from NASA that scientists wear while studying in sub-arctic temperatures.

A family poses on the stairs of the Field Museum with one of the mechanical dinosaur puppets.

I will forever remember this day, not only as my first activist event, but also because of the immense sense of unity that I felt. I did not realize that there were 60,000 people around me, we moved together as a single unit. The signs were one of the most entertaining part, some were funny while others were quite serious. The Chicago Field Museum’s sponsored signs had a message that really summed up all of the signs that I saw. The sign read, “Everything: brought to you by science.”

The opposite side of the sign had a blank space that allowed marchers to insert their own messages. I loved seeing the simplicity of what science has brought us and thought about what would have happened if past administrations had cut funding for important scientific research. Would we have the level of medical care that we have today? Would we have the internet and all of the fun things that go along with it? Would we have the military fire power that we do today?

“_____________: Brought to you by Science.” Comment below to fill in the blank.

 

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March For Science Chicago