On April 22, about 200 citizens in Saskatoon rallied together in Victoria Park against the recent budget cuts to federal science agencies by the Trump Administration. There were University of Saskatchewan students in the crowd, many of whom hope to be members of the scientific community, both in Canada and throughout North America.
The March for Science took place in 500 countries, making it the largest co-ordinated science demonstration in history. The event had many links to the Women’s March that happened earlier this year.
Mary Ingram, a participant in the March for Science and organizer of the Women’s March, explains why the links between these two events are important for citizens to be aware of.
“These groups are linked together through the idea of the importance of both science and women’s rights. Both are currently threatened in the United States and both have been threatened by the Canadian government in the past. Both marches sent the message that these issues need to be addressed,” Ingram said, in an email to the Sheaf.
Many organizations, such as Climate Justice Saskatoon, Café Scientifique and Saskatoon Unitarians, organized this event with the Women’s March group, planning the Saskatoon march for the same day as the worldwide event. Sydney Boulton, a second- year environment and society major, attended the event and discusses why students should be attending events such as the March for Science.
“I think, as students, it is important for us to stand up for science, and other causes we believe in. As the young generation, it is our future that we are fighting for, and our right to study and publish scientific data that can change the world. If we want to develop more sustainable energy practices and reduce our dependency on non-renewable resources, then we need to be able to depend on government funding and the ability to publish results,” Boulton said, in an email to the Sheaf.
Boulton also explains why younger generations should be focusing on important world issues due to the impact they can have on their futures.
“As young people who are getting an education and moving into the workforce — even if you aren’t studying a form of science — it is important to show support through political participation, whether that be voting for politicians and policies or gathering to march in an event like this one,” Boulton said.
Ingram also discusses her opinion that students should be attending these events.
“It’s important for students to attend events like the March for Science, because it shows a community of solidarity. It sends a strong message to your city, your province, your country and the world that you believe in something strongly enough to meet with like-minded people and give proof that these issues matter and need to be dealt with,” Ingram said.
Boulton explains how the event changed her personal perspective on science and how events like these bring communities together.
“The event really strengthened my ideas about how science, politics and public engagement go hand in hand. Seeing the passionate and diverse group of people in the park on [April 22] made me think about what I can do to advocate for science and for the greater good,” Boulton said.
Boulton explains how exciting the march was for her, with everyone moving as a collective as the drummers played. Boulton also highlights the response from citizens not participating in the march.
“People would drive by, honk their horns and give us a big thumbs up. Other people walking by would smile, wave and take photos. People working in businesses as we passed by would come onto the street and support us, and even though only about 200 people marched, it felt like entire city was with us.”