Citizens from Durban, South Africa, to Sydney, Australia, and from Berlin to Washington turned out for the second March for Science. In Germany, people came together in 14 cities to support science and research.
In more than 230 cities around the world — from Durban, South Africa to Washington DC and Sydney, Australia as well as Munich, Frankfurt and Cologne in Germany — marchers and demonstrators turned out for the second annual March for Science.
The impetus for the March for Science 2017, came when US President Donald Trump called global warming a hoax and signed an executive order that rolled back climate change and environmental policies put in place by his predecessor, Barack Obama.
In Washington, DC, more than 500 people donned white lab coats and carried signs that said, "Science not Silence" and "Make America Smart Again" a play on Trump's slogan "Make America Great Again."
"We're here because no one wants to be led by the gut feelings of our elected officials," Sheila Jasanoff, a professor of science and technology studies at Harvard, said in Washington.
She made her remarks without specifically referring to Trump's widely reported tendency to govern by instinct rather than analysis.
"Good science depends on good democracy. Let me repeat: Good science needs good democracy," she said.
Meanwhile, David Titley, a retired rear admiral who was in charge of the US Navy's task force on climate change, told the crowd that science shows we need to "take actions now to avoid the worst of the risks we know are highly likely to appear."
Germans turn out
Participation in March for Science rallies in Germany was lower than expected. In Cologne and Münster there were more than 1,000 marchers. Marching in Cologne, science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar chanted, "Fight fear with the facts."
In Frankfurt, according to police, about 500 people took part in protests, less than the 2,000 who had been expected.
In total, protest marches were planned for 14 German cities including Kassel, Koblenz, Saarbrücken and Trier.
av/sms (DPA, AFP)