AP NEWS

At least 10,000 Minnesotans march for science in St. Paul

April 22, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Police said at least 10,000 Minnesotans marched in St. Paul to show their support for science, joining with people around the world in support of scientific freedom without political interference.

Demonstrators marched from the Cathedral of St. Paul to a rally at the state Capitol, chanting and singing along the route. Organizers said their video analysis later determined that 50,000 people ultimately joined the event on the Capitol grounds. It was one of about a dozen Earth Day science marches planned across Minnesota, including events in Bemidji, Alexandria, New Ulm and Grand Marais.

University of Minnesota climatologist Mark Seeley kicked off the rally with a speech urging stewardship for the environment and decrying attempts to mock or marginalize science, the Star Tribune reported (http://strib.mn/2og9k7S ).

“Some go so far to say that scientists conspire against the public,” Seeley said. “Nothing could be further from the truth. Scientists are seekers of the truth.”

Dr. Alan Lifson, an epidemiologist at the university, told the crowd that false narratives about science increasingly endanger public health, citing a recent measles outbreak among children in Minnesota’s Somali community, where immunization rates are low due to fears about vaccines.

Organizers billed the event as nonpartisan, but much of it focused on the Trump administration’s rhetoric and policies, ranging from rollbacks of environmental regulations to proposed budget cuts.

The sea of mostly home-made signs included ones that read: “Defiance for science,” ″Science not silence,” ″There is no Planet B,” ″Evidence-based policy, not tweets” and “I like big brains — I cannot lie.”

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com