The March for Science Los Angeles will take place on April 22, 2017 (Earth Day), beginning at 9:00am at Pershing Square Park in downtown Los Angeles. Marchers will then make their way to City Hall. So far, over 13,000 people have pledged to march, while nearly 50,000 others have expressed their interest in participating. These numbers include scientists, educators, students, advocates, and community leaders. They will unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call on policymakers to champion and fund science that upholds the common good and to advocate for evidence-based policies in the public interest at the local, state, and national levels.
The March is one of over 300 independent satellite marches of the national March for Science in Washington, DC, happening the same day. While sharing the broad goals the national March, the March for Science Los Angeles further asserts that the ample and diverse assemblage of scientists in Southern California is an important driver of its economic growth, a protector of its resources, and a boon to the health of its citizens.
The organizers of March for Science Los Angeles are a team of over 50 dedicated volunteers with diverse backgrounds and expertise—from organic chemistry to business management. The organizers cite the increasing mistrust of science, disregard of evidence in decision-making, and emergent lack of transparency in federally-funded research communications as the impetus for planning the March.
“This will very likely be the largest assembly of scientists and science advocates in history. We aim to utilize the momentum of this march to strengthen evidence-based policy decisions,” says Alex Bradley, the Lead Organizer of the March for Science Los Angeles and a molecular biologist. “This march will draw out typically introverted, politically averse academics and stakeholders of all kinds to literally shout their support for science and the necessity of its findings in informing policy decisions.”
By bringing scientists, advocates, and members of the public together for an interactive event, the March also aims to put real faces and voices to the concern for science-based policymaking. “Showing that members of the scientific community are ‘people first, scientists second’ will help foster public engagement with science,” says Jennifer Wheeler, Program Director of the March.
The Women’s March Los Angeles Foundation has endorsed the March for Science Los Angeles. “We are proud to endorse the March for Science. We have seen the power of activating citizens to come forward and stand up for what they believe in and are happy to help with this mission that benefits us all,” says Emiliana Guereca, Co-Executive Director of the Women’s March Los Angeles Foundation. The WMLA Foundation will provide logistics support for the March for Science Los Angeles. The Women’s March brought over 750,000 participants to downtown Los Angeles in January that resulted in a day of positivity, activism, and zero violence.
Other organizations endorsing the March include Earth Day Network, Sigma Xi, 500 Woman Scientists, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the American Association of University Professors, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.
Following the March, the organizers plan to host a series of science outreach programs and events–such as campaigns and public workshops–focused on the scientific issues most critical to the health and environment of Southern California.