One of my favorite lines from the original Ghostbusters is when Bill Murray’s character Peter Venkman asks a terrified librarian, who claims she’s had a run-in with an apparition, a series of questions. “What has that got to do with it?” the very nervous New York Public Library suit asks him. “Back off, man,” Murray warns. “I’m a scientist.”
That resolve was in full display Saturday as humanists joined an estimated 40,000 likeminded science supporters in Washington, DC, for the March for Science, with hundreds of thousands taking part in similar events around the world. The idea for the march took shape just after the January 21 Women’s March on Washington brought millions to the streets to protest the new Trump administration, which has threatened to cut funding for science and medical research, environmental protection, and efforts to curb climate change.
The American Humanist Association, an official partner of the March for Science, joined fellow nontheist groups such as the Secular Coalition for America, the Center for Inquiry, and American Atheists to support the event and march as a group. They carried signs that read “SCIENCE SAVES” and conveyed messages about the importance of accepting the fact of evolution, the efficacy of vaccines, and the reality of climate change.
“We are marching today to remind people everywhere, our lawmakers especially, of the significance of science for our health and prosperity,” 2010 Humanist of the Year Bill Nye told thousands assembled near the Washington Monument under almost constant drizzle that did nothing to damper the energy of the crowd.
Marchers didn’t disappoint with their costumes, chants, and signs:
NO SCIENCE = NO BEER
Fund Science not War!
IKEA has better cabinets
BAKESALE FOR RESEARCH FUNDING
Neutrons: Free of charge
“BUILD LABS, NOT WALLS!”
(More photos from the March for Science can be viewed below and on the AHA’s official Facebook page.)
Humanists don’t agree on everything, but they do agree that science is the absolute best method for improving lives and preserving the planet. It’s imperative that we resist any effort by the president or Congress to deny scientific evidence. Next up: The People’s Climate March!