Now more than ever, we need science. From climate change to fossil fuels, there are more than a few issues at play in the world requiring the attention of our best and brightest minds. On Saturday, thousands of Chicagoans will spend Earth Day marching in support of the scientific community and bringing attention to the critical role science plays in society.
More than 45,000 people are expected to attend Saturday's March for Science in Chicago—a counterpart to the national March for Science in Washington, D.C., and one of more than 600 satellite demonstrations being held across the globe. But it's not just researchers in lab coats participating—people from all walks of life will come out to celebrate science this weekend. Here's how you can get involved.
What is the March for Science?
It's all about love and appreciation for science (like that feeling you get from watching Bill Nye). But, it's also about policy and what organizers describe as an "alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery." In addition to denying scientific evidence on issues such as climate change, the Trump administration has also proposed massive funding cuts for scientific research. According to its website, the March for Science intends to highlight the threats posed by these new policies, as well as encourage political leaders and lawmakers to "enact evidence-based policies in the public interest."
When and where is Chicago's march?
March for Science Chicago kicks off at 10am just south of Jackson Drive at the intersection of Congress Parkway and Congress Plaza Drive. There will be a short rally with several guest speakers before demonstrators set out for an 11am march down Columbus Drive to the Field Museum. At the end of the march, a Science in Chicago Expo will be held at the Museum Campus from noon to 3pm. The expo will include a variety of science-based exhibitors and networking opportunities for anyone looking to get involved in ongoing scientific efforts in the Chicago area.
Who all will be there?
Guests speakers lined up for the event include: Karen Weigert, the first chief sustainability officer for the city of Chicago; Lee Bitsoi, director of diversity and inclusion at Rush University; and Emily Graslie, the Field Museum’s chief curiosity correspondent. Chicago institutions will also participate in the march, including Citizens' Climate Lobby, the Chicago Council on Science and Technology, and the Chicago Zoological Society. For its part, the Filed Museum—a chief supporter of the event and the first local museum to announce its participation in the march—is bringing about 700 of its own staff, volunteers and trustees.
How about after the march?
In addition to bringing a mob of science supporters to the event and hosting the Science in Chicago Expo, the Field Museum will also offer half-priced basic admission to anyone who participated in the march. And since you'll already be at the Museum Campus, swing by the Adler Planetarium, where Illinois residents will receive free general admission as part of the museum's second annual Earth Day celebration.
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