MARCH FOR SCIENCE

Science's live coverage

YASMINE GATEAU

Live updates from the global March for Science

WASHINGTON, D.C. | 7:52 P.M. EDT

What a day! That’s a wrap, for now …

Yes, we know there are still a few marches yet to come, including the final events in Hawaii and perhaps the central Pacific. But after posting more than 60 stories on this remarkable global event, the News staff of Science needs to take a breather.

Thanks for following and contributing to our coverage. Come back to see updates, and watch our Twitter feeds at @ScienceInsider and @NewsfromScience.

If you did march this weekend, please take a moment a moment to fill out our survey. (This survey is now closed. Stay tuned for a post with its results.) And if you want to catch up on all of our previous march coverage, check out our March for Science story archive.

Finally, feel free to tweet your march thoughts and pictures to @ScienceInsider.

Now, scroll your way through a world's worth of marches (earliest stories are at the bottom) ...


Mexico City | 7:39 P.M. EDT

Budget cuts, corruption motivate marchers

The march here had a strong unifying theme: Opposition to recent cuts to the National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt) and the grants to graduate students it provides. Hundreds of people marched from the Angel of Independence to the Zocalo this afternoon, chanting "More scientists, fewer politicians" and "Grants yes, cuts no."

"They ask us for excellence, but they give us miserable resources," said Guadalupe Barrera, a researcher at the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM), who marched with students from her ecotoxicology lab. "Students are the most vital part of the scientific community."

Anti-Trump signs were scarce, but many marchers expressed dismay about the case of Javier Duarte, the ex-governor of Veracruz who absconded with state funds and was recently arrested in Guatemala. The money that Duarte took could have funded 60,000 doctoral grants, nearly the number of all graduate grants Conacyt currently gives, said Edith Marcial Juárez, a doctoral student at the research center Cinvestav. "It’s disillusioning."

Many marchers hoped the demonstration would cause Conacyt to reconsider a change in how grants were calculated, which many here say will make it impossible for them to keep up with inflation. "We can't work. We have to live off our grants," said Leonardo Salas Domínguez, a student at the UAM. He brought his young daughter, whom he supports with his Conacyt grant, which is about $1500 a month. "It's complete idiocy to cut education and not the salaries of politicians," he said. –Lizzie Wade

Lizzie Wade

Tromsø, Norway | 7:35 P.M.

An upbeat march in Norway, despite fears of melting ice

Despite the "notoriously reserved nature of Norwegians," Adele Williamson was pleased to tell ScienceInsider that the march in Tromsø, Norway, attracted about 200 people. No doubt the marchers were equally happy to have a beautiful day, not a sure bet 300 km north of the Arctic circle. "The atmosphere was so energetic and quite outspoken," says Williamson, a biochemist at the University of Tromsø, and an organizer of the march. "We have just come from the cold dark (polar night) winter just over a month ago, so the risk with beautiful weather is that many would rather go skiing in the sunshine."

But a crowd assembled and marched, accompanied by the town's well-known student marching band Ompagniet. One of the locally relevant signs said ‘Isen Har Ikke Agenda, Den Bare Smelter!’ (Ice Has No Agenda-It Just Melts). At the market square, people listened to speeches from local politicians and research leaders, including the director of the Norwegian Polar Institute, Jan-Gunnar Winther, who said he would have died of cancer, had it not been for scientific research. After the march, discussions about science attracted "many non-research participants, some of whom joined spontaneously," Williamson says. –Erik Stokstad

Rhys Jones

Eagle-eye view: Shots from U.S. marches


San Francisco, California | 7:00 P.M. EDT

Living with HIV, and marching for science

San Francisco's Justin Herman Plaza was full as the premarch rally begins. City supervisor Jeff Sheehy was one of three politicians who opened the rally with stories of why they're marching. "I turned 60 yesterday," he said, eliciting cheers and well wishes from the crowd. "Hold on," he continued. "I've been living with HIV for 20 years. Without science, I would be dead." He finished by leading the crowd in a boisterous call and response inspired by an LGBT activist chant: "Facts and evidence under attack," "Act up, fight back!" "Public health under attack," "Act up, fight back!" "Our children's and grandchildren's future under attack," "Act up, fight back!" –Rachel Bernstein

San Francisco march rally

Rachel Bernstein

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA | 6:45 P.M. EDT

Turns out, standing out was easy in The Big Easy

In New Orleans there are parades in the French Quarter every day, so the anthropologists here for the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists hired a New Orleans band and passed out Mardi Gras beads to keep up with the locals. There was no need to worry, however, because the sight of several thousand scientists (including about 1400 anthropologists) marching in lab coats and Einstein wigs with placards seeking money for science, of all things, was a novelty. Local people lined up on Canal Street to watch the scientists, who chanted:

"What do you want?"

"Funding!"

"When do you want it?"

"Now."

The marchers, who came from all over the world, carried placards that had a distinct paleo theme: "A world without science is not humerus," declaimed one. Another: "Walking upright for science." –Ann Gibbons

Ann Gibbons

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA | 6:35 P.M. EDT

In Appalachia, caution on making science political

Under a gray sky, several hundred students, scientists, and children listened to speakers—including environmental consultant and clean water advocate Evan Hansen—extol science’s role in keeping West Virginia’s waters clean and protecting future generations. Much of the crowd, which march organizers estimated at 500, was made up of families with young children, who took part in a premarch festival including displays from West Virginia University’s science departments. There were also live owls and falcons from the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia.

Fewer undergraduate students were on hand, in part because organizers didn’t want to “impose this on students,” says Penny Dacks, a neuroscientist with the American Epilepsy Society who helped run the march. “There is a fear that this will be misunderstood as [partisan and political]. Science should not be political,” she says. “Science shouldn’t tell us what to do, but it’s a very powerful tool. It’s a screwdriver and anyone should be able to use it.”

In the crowd were Helen Honecker (center, below) and her mother, Jen (left). Why? “Because science is awesome,” says Helen. –Catherine Matacic

Catherine Matacic/Science

Cleveland, Ohio | 6:20 P.M. EDT

Sorry, son, we had to march

Biologist Andrea Case of Kent State University ditched her son’s piano recital to drive an hour to her first march ever. “I want to put myself out there as one of many scientists who want to communicate more with the public,” she said. “And policies should be based on facts if we expect them to work.” Her husband, biologist Pat Lorch, who also ditched the recital, added that he wanted to “push back on the idea that science is not important to society. ” That was a clear theme in Cleveland, where dozens of institutions from all areas of life helped sponsor the event, from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to the Museum of Contemporary Art to the Portside Distillery. (And like Calagary's marchers, Ohioans love brewer's yeast apparently.) –Elizabeth Culotta

Andrea Case

Elizabeth Culotta

CALGARY, CANADA | 5:50 P.M. EDT

"Clearly, something is missing."

Marchers in the heart of the Canadian oil patch came out by the hundreds on a sunny afternoon. It was as much a march for democracy and diversity, starting at the statue of the Women are Persons! Monument in the city's Olympic Plaza and ending at the plaza in front of the Calgary Municipal Building.

Speeches came from a variety of speakers, including a science broadcaster and writer, a Pakistani-born Canadian Muslim who works in STEM, a Pakistani-born professor who studies cell biology and anatomy; and, an emergency room physician who helped start the process to phase out coal-fueled power plants by 2030 in Alberta.

Jay Ingram, the former broadcaster who most recently wrote The Science of Why, said there shouldn't even be a need to have a March for Science. "Clearly something is missing—and the people here, and I, agree that science is important and that governments should recognize that," he said, "but clearly we haven't done a good job at communicating that. "So, I am hoping this is not just an event for today, but a beginning," he added.

The event also featured an activist singing group, The Raging Grannies, who sang about global warming to the tune of Glory, Glory Hallelujah. “Our emissions are surely harming,” they sang, “but Donald’s head is in the sand.” –Colette Derworiz

Colette Derworiz

MADISON, WISCONSIN | 5:30 P.M. EDT

In the Badger State, getting their science on

Led by a marching band, a crowd that ranged from 2000 to 4000 marched from James Madison Park on the shores of Lake Mendota—one of the most studied lakes in the world—to Library Mall on the University of Wisconsin (UW) campus. Early in the day, arriving marchers were asked whether they were up for “getting their science on.” One space-suited marcher (below) sweated for science. Later, UW carbohydrate biochemist Laura L. Kiessling told the all-ages assemblage of researchers, teachers, students, health care workers, families, and science allies that "you right now are making vitamin D." And they cheered when she said, "Give us evidence-based policy. We need to demand that." –Christine Mlot

John Barkei

Watch a compilation of the Washington, D.C., march


The science march to Urcuqui plaza.

Catherine Rigsby of March for Science in Urcuqui, Ecuador

Urcuqui, Ecuador | 5:05 P.M. EDT

A small but determined South American march

Geologist Paul Baker, who is working in Ecuador at Yachay Tech University, emailed our Mexico City correspondent Lizzie Wade about one of the smaller marches today: “The March was great. We had probably 250 people, so perhaps a quarter of all of our students at the university. We gathered on campus and then walked the 3 km uphill to the plaza of Urcuqui. We even had an angry man pull his truck in front of us, blocking the way, but we just walked around and kept going. There were few people along the way, because we are in a very small community, but we think it was important for the community to see us and to hear from us about what we do at Yachay Tech and what motivates our students. On the plaza, the mayor spoke briefly as did various students from Yachay. Local high school students also attended (perhaps, 60 or so), [and] a couple random people from Urcuqui spoke…I think it was the only March for Science in Ecuador."

Attend a march? Check in and tell us where and why.

See all of our March for Science coverage here.

Tweet your march thoughts and pictures to @ScienceInsider.


Mexico City | 4:30 P.M. EDT

Pre-March roundtable exposes generational divide in Mexico

Hours before the March for Science here kicked off, representatives from the Mexican Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine gathered for a roundtable to express their support for the global movement—though some tensions with the local march were clear. "We're in a critical moment for defending science around the world and in our country," said José-Antonio Arias-Montaño of the Mexican National Academy of Medicine. Several speakers expressed concern about U.S. President Donald Trump's denial of climate change, Vice President Mike Pence's creationist beliefs, and Trump's willingness to work with prominent antivaccine activist Robert Kennedy Jr. "In the face of fanaticism and fear, science is regaining its ethical and political stance," said Rosaura Ruiz Guitiérrez, director of the Faculty of Science at the National Autonomous University of Mexico here. The Mexican government must improve its support of science, she said.

By law 1% of the country's GDP must go toward research and development. "But like many laws in our country, this one isn't being followed," Ruiz Guitiérrez said. The number of government grants given to graduate students is also declining, as Mexico faces an economic crisis and a weak peso. Still, it remained unclear how many of the senior scientists in the Academies would take to the streets later today, for the march is organized in large part by graduate students. Ruiz Gutiérrez called the event "the young people's march" and said among more established scientists, "marching hasn't been our style"—though she believes that may change thanks to the example set by U.S. scientists today. She will be marching in an individual capacity, she said. –Lizzie Wade

Mexico city roundtable.

Lizzie Wade

Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, Norway | 4:20 P.M. EDT

Striding across the Norwegian Arctic, drums at the ready

Save for a trio of researchers who made their North Pole trek double as a march for science, the honor of the farthest north march today was held by the small Norwegian research village: Ny-Ålesund, on the island of Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean. Some 11 nations staff small research stations there, with the population swelling to up to 150 scientists and support staff during the busiest months.

Currently, however, there are just about 80 souls in town, glaciologist Alex Messerli of the Norwegian Polar Institute told Science today by phone. But a full half of them turned out for the March for Science “on this beautiful, beautiful day,” she says. “We made lots of signs and had a banner at the front. We had some drums and brass instruments to help us along. There is no general public here, so we were marching on our own, and the bit of noise helped keep us going.”

The route was very short but “very scenic,” she says. “We went from the main service building at the center of the village where we have our meals, thru town, and then back” through the spectacular, snow-covered landscape.

The group was diverse, she noted, representing numerous nations and fields of science. “It really made sense for us to march,” says Messerli, who coordinated the event, “because science at the end of the day is for everyone.” –David Malakoff

Alex Messerli

BONN, GERMANY | 4:10 p.m. EDT

Closing thoughts from Bonn

The science march in Bonn ended earlier today. Police estimated the crowd at 850. There was some grumbling that organizers could have done more to increase turnout, but most protesters agreed that the bad weather and the other protests scheduled for the weekend were to blame. Kai Hußnätter, a microbiology student at the University of Düsseldorf, carrying a "vaccines work" sign, said he had hoped for more particpants. "But I’m not disappointed. It’s a start."

While there was no marching here, protesters were entertained by a jazz band and scientific improvisation theater. Many people here carried signs, including one saying "homeopathy can be healed," a crowd favorite.

Catrin Muscheid, 29, said she had no background in science but she had come from Cologne to support science and that she was thinking of children like her 7-year-old nephew and the world they would inherit. "I want them to be able to enjoy nature the way that we have been able to." Kai Kupferschmidt

Kai Kupferschmidt

San Diego, California | 3:35 P.M. EDT

“People are really reaching out"

It's a sunny day, not a cloud is in the sky, and the organizers of the March for Science in San Diego are hoping that not a negative word will be heard. Helen Wilfehrt, a neurobiologist who is self-employed, has arrived early to spread the good vibe. "I wouldn't be here without science—literally," says Wilfehrt, wearing the local march shirt that features a woman surfing through an atom. "I was hospitalized within one month of birth with pneumonia."

Another participant, Savannah Orth, 18, is a rare disease patient whose parents are both scientists. "I can't imagine a world where you can't go to a website and see clinical trials—or read Science. I've been reading Science since I was 11." She'll start college in fall at San Diego State University as chemistry major.

Anita Darcey, a University of California, San Diego, nurse who is marching, says bystanders have been supportive. "I met two women walking up who said I'm so glad you're here. Then they both touched my shoulder. People are really reaching out." –Jon Cohen

Savannah Orth

Jon Cohen

WASHINGTON, D.C. | 3:16 p.m. EDT

The Science Guy speaks out

Bill Nye cycled to his first D.C. Earth Day more than 40 years ago and locked his bike to one of the National Mall flagpoles. ("If you did that today, you'd be disappeared and your bike would be taken away to be x-rayed," he jokes.) Now, on Earth Day 2017 he took the stage to cheers and chants of "Bill! Bill! Bill!" from thousands of March for Science participants. For Nye, who just last night launched a new Netflix series called Bill Nye Saves the World focused largely on climate change, a successful march would lead to "a stop to efforts to curtail environmental regulations" and for the nation to "start pursuing renewable energy earnestly." In a conversation with ScienceInsider, Nye criticize President Donald Trump for "subdued" interactions with the public on issues like science and the environment, noting no one could tell him where Trump is today as science supporters march in cities around the world. "The unpopularity of this administration will catch up with them," he said. "Look at all these people!" –Lindzi Wessel

Lindzi Wessel

London | 2:45 p.m. EDT

“I thought we all respected science”

There was a slight drizzle before the start of the March for Science—London, just enough that one participant rigged an umbrella above his sign. There was a sense of anticipation. “We have to leave the lab and show people why our work is important,” said Eva Zacharioudaki, a postdoc in developmental biology at the University of Cambridge. “We don’t have to go back to a time of darkness.”

Thousands of marchers milled about in the street in front of the Science Museum. “They’re a rather quiet bunch, very polite,” said a police officer, who was not authorized to speak to the media. “I’ve never seen a march start at the Science Museum before. I guess they all know where it is.”

Many marchers hailed from London, with a sizable contingent from Cambridge, and some making a trip of several hours. Organizers estimated the crowd at 10,000 to 12,000. For about a mile, as the march passed along Hyde Park, not many people were watching, but the marchers cheered as open-top tourist buses passed by and black cabs honked. Along Piccadilly toward Trafalgar Square, spectators were slightly baffled. “What’s the point of the march?” asked Patrick Gleeson, an accountant. As if to answer, a chant arose in the march “Respect for science!” Gleeson looked puzzled. “I thought we all respected science,” he said to his wife.

Several participants said they were marching in support of researchers in the United States and other countries where they say science gets less respect. “This is like a solidarity march,” said Steve Canham, who works in IT for clinical research at a university in Surrey. “It’s easier to keep fighting if you know others are supporting you,” added cancer biologist Isabel Quiros Gonzalez, who works at the University of Cambridge. She’s concerned about antivaccination groups and people “who doubt our work and our honesty.”

Erik Stokstad

Paul Bradbury, a banker, stopped to watch some of the march, and approved. “Science is definitely helping us, especially people with disease.” Also taking it in was Janice Alexander, a graphics designer, who liked the signs and the fact that the mood was calm. “If they’re saying science is important, and we should believe in it, then this is an appropriate way to show it. We’re British; we like something orderly.”

Once the march reached Parliament Square, speaker Andrew Steele of the advocacy group Science is Vital tried to turn up the heat. “As scientists we don’t like anger, we like evidence,” he said. “But let’s talk about funding.” The amount invested in the United Kingdom, as a share of GDP, was much lower in than the United States and Germany, he pointed out. And then there’s Brexit: government has not reassured European Union citizens that they will be able to stay after the U.K. breaks away. “That’s not good enough,” Steele said, his voice rising. “I want you to help me make science a massive political issue.”

Brexit was on the mind of many, because it could severely hinder the ability of European scientists to work in the U.K. Francisco Diego, an astronomer at University College London, reminded the crowd that science has shown all humans trace their origins back to Africa. “How did we populate the planet? By migration,” he said, to cheers. The Palace of Westminster, where Parliament meets, was turning golden in the afternoon sunlight. “Say it loud, so they can hear.”

The need to reach out to the public was emphasized by many speakers. “Each of you—tell someone not at the march why you came here,” said Suze Kundu, a materials chemist at the University of Surrey. Sounding the single note of criticism, science journalist Angela Saini exhorted the scientific community to do a better job addressing sexism and racism in its own ranks.

Closing out the rally was Robin Ince, a comedian, who mused on the inspirational in science. “It’s about coming up with the least wrong answer. That’s what’s great—it never ends. There’s no child here who will ever hear the words, ‘that’s science finished.’” Organizers are hoping the same is true for the March for Science—London. Story Sylwester, a graduate student in paleopathology at Durham University, told ScienceInsider that she would like it to become March for Science—U.K. with a continuing presence advocating for research. –Erik Stokstad


SAO PAULO, BRAZIL | 2:35 p.m. EDT

No march permit, so tents in Brazil

Organizers of the São Paulo march couldn't get a permit from officials to march, so the event was set up as something of a science fair, featuring several tents with the names of famous Brazilian scientists, each one with a display of scientific research—for example, insect collections and casts of hominid skulls from the University of São Paulo. About 200 people had gathered here earlier today.

In the top photo below, Leonardo Barolo, a biology student at the University of São Paulo, shows insects and a turtle shell to the public. In the bottom photo, Pedro da Glória, a bioanthropologist at the University of São Paulo, prepares a public display of hominid skulls. –Herton Escobar

Herton Escobar
Herton Escobar

WASHINGTON, D.C. | 2:27 p.m. EDT

Reporter’s roundtable: Reflecting on European marches

With the marches in Europe nearly over, Science reporters covering a number of the events assembled for an online chat to compare and contrast what they saw and heard. The group included Gretchen Vogel, who covered the march in Berlin; Kai Kupferschmidt (Bonn); Daniel Clery (London); and Martin Enserink (Paris). The chat was moderated and edited for brevity and clarity by David Malakoff, based in Washington, D.C.

David Malakoff: What was the mood out there today?

Gretchen Vogel: Berlin’s march was quieter than I expected. There were drummers at the start, but the marching itself was mostly quiet, with people chatting with each other, but not chanting. There were some whistles and boos in front of the Hungarian embassy (because of the Hungarian government’s efforts to shutter the Central European University).

David: I was struck by the song sung at the end of the Berlin march. Was that spontaneous?

Gretchen: It was quite moving. The stage at the end had a choir from one of the universities. The choir director led the crowd. They hummed first, then sang in unison, then in harmony.

Martin Enserink: There was some singing at the March in Paris as well, but overall people were quiet.

Daniel Clery: The London march was very jolly and good humored. All ages present and at least two species (dogs too). The speeches at the end were generally humorous and comedian Robin Ince led the singing of The Meaning of Life (from the Monty Python musical).

Kai Kupferschmidt: In Bonn, it was fairly subdued. The rain didn't help. You could sense people felt this was something they just had to do. And several people told me they couldn't quite believe that it had come to this, standing up for facts, for science. The site, the Hofgartenwiese, hosted one of the biggest freedom demonstrations in German history with more than 300,000 people attending. By comparison the less than 1000 at the science march felt tiny.

Dan: The London march went right through the heart of the city past many major monuments. It was, I may add, significantly longer than the anti-Brexit march of a few weeks ago.

Gretchen: In Berlin the weather was what Germans call “April weather.” It sleeted all morning, but the sun came out for the march. Then afterwards it started raining again.

Martin: I did wonder what bystanders in Paris made of the march. I don’t know if the message was very clear. Scientists make very clever banners and signs, but they tend to be rather small and aimed at making other scientists chuckle ... I doubt that the waiters watching from their terraces got it.

Gretchen: There were lots of questions in the S-Bahn and on the street about signs people were carrying. Everyone was very positive. One waiter said, “So the march is FOR something rather than against something? That’s nice for once.”

Dan: Yes, I got that comment too, for rather than against.

David: The election of President Donald Trump played a big role in catalyzing the marches in the U.S. Did Trump loom large in Europe?

Martin: Trump played a big role in Paris. He came up in almost every speech. I think European scientists are truly appalled. And of course global warming is a big issue. This is Paris, of the Paris accords.

Dan: Yes lots of anti-Trump placards in London too.

Kai: There were anti-Trump signs in Bonn. Several people had signs saying "grab them by the data," also an indirect reference of course. But concerns went far beyond that: Turkey, Hungary, anti-vaxxers, climate change.

Martin: Yes, I agree that the issues go well beyond Trump. That’s the interesting thing about these marches: everybody can project their local concerns on them. Some scientists here in France don’t like merit-based funding. … Not just that there isn’t enough of it; some just don’t like the whole concept.

Gretchen: I didn’t see any explicitly anti-Trump signs in Berlin, though plenty against alternative facts.

Kai: Inevitably, the Nazi era came up in almost every speech here. There's a strong feeling that Germany has an obligation to call out worrying developments like freedom being curtailed, scientists being muzzled.

Gretchen: Germany’s past came up in Berlin, too. They also emphasized standing in solidarity with and doing what’s possible to help scientists under extreme pressure—in Turkey, Hungary, and various war zones.

David: Do you get the sense anything lasting will come of this? Or did it feel like a one-time thing?

Martin: This is France, so there will undoubtedly be another march; scientists have taken to the streets so many times. What happens next will depend a great deal on the next government. (Tomorrow we'll know a little more about that.) But I thought it was interesting that this was the first scientists' march that had a global feel about it. You could tell from the speeches and the placards. In that sense, this may well be the start of something new. Also notable: at the endpoint here at Place St. Michel, a poem was read in English.

Kai: People in Bonn were definitely willing to do more, but I think most of them don't know what and how. The whole affair could have been better organized (considering how many universities are involved - Bonn, Cologne, Aachen, Düsseldorf and more—turnout should have been bigger). So I have little hope for this leading to anything concrete in the future. On the other hand that might be the takeaway for some participants here: the need to organize, to build up structures.

Martin: Labor unions were also very visible at the Paris march.

Dan: London also had an international feel, and a very international group of marchers. There was very little comment here about the upcoming general election.

Gretchen: The most visible groups in Berlin were science and academic ones. No labor unions or political parties that I saw.

Martin: One other thing that struck me: Marchers like to claim credit for all of the good things science has brought—from beer and antibiotics to air travel, but never any of the bad stuff. Saying that science is the answer to everything seems a bit naïve. Thoughts?

Gretchen: There was one sign in Berlin that said “sorry for the atom bomb.”

Kai: Protesting is already a bit weird for most scientists and in general I felt the sentiments were very restrained.

David: Did you see signs on more controversial scientific topics as well, such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?

Kai: I saw one on GMOs but most people stuck to the “safe” topics.

Martin: I did see mostly “safe” issues as well. Nobody in defense of genetically modified organisms, for instance, which in France are extremely unpopular. I did see some stridently atheist signs.

David: Well, it’s been a long day for you. Thanks for the insights.


WASHINGTON, D.C. | 2:00 P.M. EDT

Alchemists for Trump

Science historian Amy Slaton from Drexel University in Philadelphia took brief refuge from the rain in Washington D.C.'s Ronald Reagan Building. She wanted a sign that was anti-Trump, but not necessarily pro-science: "I think it's a little dangerous to say that anywhere you see a scientist, you see good thinking and objective thinking and fair thinking," she says. "Usually it's in the hands of the wealthy, the privileged, people who already have a lot of success in the world." Today's crowd, she notes, is "real white." –Kelly Servick

Kelly Servick

PORTLAND, OREGON | 1:19 p.m. EDT

Portland marchers brave the rain for science

Seems appropriate that marchers in Portland start the day huddled under the Morrison Bridge as the rain comes down. Speeches here set to begin in 15 minutes. –Robert F. Service

Robert F. Service

Ice, ice, science


Washington D.C. | 1:00 p.m. EDT

Poets take the road more traveled to D.C.

Six weeks ago, the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University in Ohio decided to join the March for Science in its own way. At the suggestion of poet Jane Hirshfield, chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, they decided to bring their long-standing Traveling Stanzas program to D.C. for the march; the program is designed to engage people across disciplines. "Science and art are not opposites," says director David Hassler. "They share forms of passion and obsession, careful observation, desire to find shapeliness, and beauty to understand our world." Hassler and his group brought about a dozen 7-foot-tall banners with science-related poems on them, curated by Hirshfield, who read a poem about scientific freedom to the rain-soaked march audience. In their Poems for Science tent, the group encourages marchers to read printouts of some of the speeches from the rally; participants can cross out select words to create their own found poetry. Their work is featured on the group’s Twitter feed. "We're on screen so much," says Alan Walker, a web designer and creative director of IdeaBase in Kent, who is part of the group, "we want to engage people where they are." –Carolyn Gramling

David Hassler and Alan Walker (right)

Carolyn Gramling

Clips from around Europe


REYKJAVIK | 12:16 p.m. EDT

Marching near the Arctic Circle

Icelanders take to the street to support science.

Celia dshultz

CLEVELAND, OHIO | 11:50 a.m. EDT

“Let's have a cheer for that great African math geek Euclid!"

Thousands gathered on this chilly cloudy Cleveland morning. The mood was friendly and happy and speeches emphasized diversity. Keynote speaker Emmitt Jolly, a schistosomiasis researcher, noted that he was the son of a preacher and janitor, and worked in Alabama cotton fields for 2 years as a young man,  but was still able to become a professor at Case Western Reserve University here. "Science is for everyone,"  he said." We must defend science with every moment, every energy of our bodies."

"Diversity has been important to science from the very beginning," said march co-organizer Patricia Princehouse. "The surveyors who laid out this city needed real science ... and they named [main avenue through the city]  Euclid. Let's have a cheer for that great African math geek Euclid!" The large crowd obliged.

Evalyn Gates, CEO of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, pointed out that many different kinds of organizations sponsored this march, showing how science is woven deeply into the fabric of society.  Sponsors included the Cleveland Orchestra—music is sound science, says its poster—the Holden Arboretum, the Cleveland Clinic, and many more. Gates also noted a special guest atop the Tower City Center building adjacent to the rally: a female peregrine falcon sitting on five eggs. "Another species saved by science!" she said. –Elizabeth Culotta

Elizabeth Culotta

WASHINGTON, D.C. | 11:50 a.m. EDT

More numbers rolling in

Paris organizers are saying 4500 to 5000 people joined their event. The Berlin tally is 11,000. In London, the unofficial estimate is 10,000 to 12,000. But Bonn attracted just 850 to 2000, depending on the estimate. And although it is still early, organizers of the D.C. march are estimating 40,000.


WASHINGTON D.C. | 11:30 a.m. EDT

As drizzle falls, a flurry of preparations in U.S. capital

Speakers have begun addressing a crowd next to the Washington Monument here, and there have been signs all morning of preparations for the Washington, D.C., science march. Despite the cool, drizzly weather, spirits appear to be high. Here are some scenes from Science photo editor Bill Douthitt:

Bill Douthitt
Bill Douthitt

Outside the entrance to the march, a crew from the science education program InSciEd Out, based in Rochester, Minnesota, prepared for the day, reports Kelly Servick. They came attired in zebrafish hats.

Kelly Servick

"We knew that the brain hat was a very high potential" among marchers, says Chris Pierret, a biologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, but his group commissioned crocheted zebrafish hats, honoring one of their favorite disease research models.

Carolyn Gramling reports that members of the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology and the Paleontology Society of Washington began gathering in D.C. around 9:30 a.m., sporting foam fingers and signs reading "Don't let science go extinct." 

"Who knows better than paleontologists what can happen when the climate changes?" says paleontologist Mary Droser, who traveled to D.C. from the University of California, Riverside. She says they're expecting a group of 150 to 200 people to show up; and more paleontologists are marching in 47 marches around the United States. "We've run the experiment of climate change on this planet. More than anybody, we know how bad it gets."

Some costumes were a bit showy, Carolyn discovered. She snapped a shot of Stephen Young, of the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, D.C., dressed as The Muppet Show character Beaker. And artist Ed Charbonneau, who teaches at Minnesota College of Design in Minneapolis, dressed as a bee. 

Carolyn Gramling

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

A video mashup of one of the globe's first marches, in Auckland


ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA | 11:09 a.m. EDT

Washington, D.C.–area high schoolers prepare to march

An intense poster-making session was underway early this morning in Arlington, Virginia—just across the Potomac River from the march—by a group of students who planned to attend. Among those designing messages were high school seniors Elizabeth Woolford, Lily Gehrenbeck, and Abigail Etterson. "Both my parents are scientists, so the attack on science, it's a little bit personal," said Etterson, who traveled from Duluth, Minnesota, to march in D.C. "The attack that Rachel Carson was under in the 1960s ... is what a lot of environmental scientists are experiencing today," said Woolford, who lives in Arlington and this year wrote and performed a one-person show on Carson. As march time approached, the group was unhurried. "Let's make 10:15 our leaving time. But we'll make it a hard leaving time," said Gehrenbeck, who lives in Arlington.  –Meredith Wadman


Cape Town and Durban, South Africa | 10:45 a.m. EDT

Tragic anti-science memories mix with youthful optimism in South African marches

Plenty of children joined the march in Cape Town, South Africa, this morning. Carrying placards saying "future scientist" and "science is for everyone," they made their way with their adult companions to the Cape Town Science Centre that nestles at the foot of Table Mountain in the suburb of Observatory. The Cape Town march was apolitical and strove to showcase the positive things science can bring to South Africa, rather than negative sentiments about the anti-science movement, said its organizer Julie Kohn of Cornell University, a visiting Ph.D. student at the University of Cape Town. Every person on the march received free entry into the science center, which aims to improve the quality of science literacy among young South Africans.

Scientists also marched in the east coast city of Durban this morning. At the forefront walked veterans of South Africa’s era of AIDS denialism: Glenda Gray, Jerry Coovadia, and Quarraisha Abdool Karim, among others, who stood up for science in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the country’s government, led by former president Thabo Mbeki, cast doubt on whether HIV causes AIDS. Hundreds of thousands of South Africans died as a result of the "alternative facts" peddled by the Mbeki government because they could not access lifesaving antiretroviral drugs. –Linda Nordling

Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Jerry Coovadia, and Glenda Gray (third, fourth, and fifth from left) were among those leading the Durban March.

Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) in Durban
Linda Nordling

Paris | 10:30 a.m. EDT

More from Paris

The Paris march is taking its time, stopping at various research and higher education landmarks for speeches along the way. After a lengthy pause at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, we're now at the Collėge de France, where speakers lament the Trump administration's views on climate change and the French government's broken promisies. Organizers say there are between 4500 and 5200 marchers, which seems about right. The march is relaxed but a bit subdued—not nearly the level of noise and anger you see at some rallies here.

OK, the crowd is moving again. Next stop: the Sorbonne. –Martin Enserink

Peter Vermij

LONDON | 10:14 a.m. EDT

Retraction watch in London

James Wagstaff, a University of Cambridge Ph.D. student in molecular biology, set some realistic expectations at the London march. "We don't want to have to retract our sign," he told me. –Erik Stokstad

Erik Stokstad

Amsterdam| 10:00 a.m. EDT

We all scream for ice cream, and science

Throughout the day, an estimated 2000 people have come to the Museum Square in Amsterdam for this city’s March for Science event. In front of the Rijksmuseum, the largest museum on Dutch heritage in the country and holder of some of the most well-known pieces of art in the world, like The Night Watch from Rembrandt, a nice science fair took place. Many activities were inside two white tents, not a bad choice given it was fairly cold and rainy today. The tent run by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences was popular although that may be because it offered free ice cream. Small exhibits with experiments were everywhere, mainly done by volunteers from different Dutch universities and other science institutes. You could enjoy watching what happens when a marshmallow sits in a vacuum, or just look through a telescope. Scientists in front of research posters explained scientific concepts, like climate change and fabrication of the flu vaccine. One protester’s sign quipped “Science: running everything since 1543,” a reference to Nicolaus Copernicus’s treatise that year arguing our planet revolves around the sun, instead of the other way. –Krijn Soeteman

Toby Kiers, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Amsterdam, and her kids

Krijn Soeteman

PARIS | 9:42 a.m. EDT

“I’m marching for her”

We're marching past the National Museum for Natural History now, one of many science landmarks along the way. Mélina Heuzé and Antoine Chaillet (below) are marching clad in lab coats, along with their daughter, who's taking pictures. Chaillet says he's troubled by the rise in fake news and uncritical thinking, even among his own relatives. Heuzé, who has test tubes attached to her hat, points at her daughter and says: "I'm marching for her."  –Martin Enserink

Peter Vermij

BERLIN | 9:31 a.m. EDT

Ending with an ode to freedom of thought

The Berlin march has ended with the crowd singing, in harmony, “Die Gedanken sind frei” a German folk song that was prohibited during the student unrest of the 1840s, and again during the Third Reich. It is one of Germany’s most beloved protest songs. –Gretchen Vogel


Barcelona, Spain | 9:21 a.m. EDT

Beachside science discussion in Barcelona

About 40 volunteers organized this city’s March for Science event, a roundtable discussion not far from one of its famous urban beaches. Pablo Rodríguez Ros of the Institute of Marine Sciences, one among the hundreds of attendees, says he gave up a Saturday “because I think science should be closer to society. We need to involve people to improve the wellbeing of society. We help you, but we need society's help too.”

The event began with a reading of a pro-science manifesto in three languages: English, Spanish, and Catalan. One part declared: “It is worrying the rising acceptance of environmental and safety policies that purposefully go against scientific evidences such as the effectiveness of vaccination, the theory of evolution or climate change.”

The roundtable included scientists, journalists and science policy officials. “We need to march for open science, not just science,” said Joan Subirats a political scientist at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Another panelist, Mara Dierssen, a neurobiologist at the Centre of Genomic Research, argued that “countries that invest a lot in science have a higher level of life quality and stronger economies. “ Pere Estupinyà, a journalist participating in the roundtable, also noted “Science is not easy, because sometimes it tells us things we don't want to hear. We can't cherry pick only the things we like!” –Luca Tancredi Barone

Luca Tancredi Barone

BERLIN | 8:40 a.m. EDT

10,000 marchers? “That would be an unverified fact.”

Science’s Gretchen Vogel reports from the speeches:

  • Berlin mayor Michael Müller tells the crowd that while Berlin has a history of great science, it also has a dark chapter when science and scientists were persecuted and silenced. Therefore we especially stand with scientists around the world who suffer political persecution, he says. There is a big cheer for solidarity with Central European University in Budapest, which the Hungarian government has targeted for closure.
  • Speakers have had to ask the crowd to squeeze forward more so everyone could fit in the allotted space, which is Pariser Platz, in front of the Brandenburg gate. One speaker, science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar, says there is a rumor that the police estimate 10,000 marchers, "but I want to be careful. That would be an unverified fact."
Gretchen Vogel

PARIS | 8:20 a.m. EDT

“Marty, science is in danger!”

A sign referencing the film Back to the Future is among those being held by marchers in a crowd of at least a thousand people that has gathered outside the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. Trade unions out in force, it seems. Speeches denouncing Donald Trump and attacks in science and education are in progress; the actual march will start later. –Martin Enserink

Peter Vermij
Peter Vermij

AUSTRALIA | 8:15 a.m. EDT

The numbers are in from down under

About 10,000 people marched in eight events nationwide, with 4000 in Melbourne, 3000 in Sydney, and 1000 in Canberra, according to Jocelyn Prasad, media coordinator for March for Science Australia. –Dennis Normile


BERLIN | 8:00 a.m. EDT

Berlin hits the road

In Berlin, marchers gathered at Humboldt University, across from bebelplatz, where Nazis burned books. They marched past the Hungarian embassy, where some marchers held signs in support of the central European university. They have now reached the Brandenburg gate. Organizers just said the crowd is between 4 and 5000 people. –Gretchen Vogel

Gretchen Vogel

Bonn, Germany | 7:45 a.m. EDT

Protests abound in Germany, not all science-related

About 500 people have gathered in drizzly rain in Bonn for a science march with no marching but plenty of signs and several speeches. Many people here said they had a hard time deciding which protest to join this weekend. Several large pro-European Union demonstrations are scheduled for Sunday. And plenty of protests are planned in nearby Cologne where right-wing party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) is holding a convention this weekend. The party's manifesto has this to say on climate change: "For as long as the earth exists, the climate will change. Policies of climate protection rely on useless computer models of the IPCC. Carbon dioxide is not a harmful substance, but an essential part of life." 

Several people here said they knew friends and colleagues who had decided to join those protests to take a stand for science. Other protesters decided to join the March for Science, still somewhat stunned at how the world had changed in recent months. "I really still can't believe we have to fight for facts," says Stephanie La Hoz Theuer, a Brazilian expert on international climate policies who lives in Bonn. "But here we are. You can't take progress for granted." –Kai Kupferschmidt

Kai Kupferschmidt

LONDON | 6:46 a.m. EDT

London march revving up

The March for Science London is about to set off from outside the Science Museum. From there marchers will go along the side of Hyde Park, along Picadilly, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square and then down Whitehall to Parliament Square. A rally there is due to start at 2 p.m. There is a genial atmosphere and numbers are in the thousands.

Dan Clery

PARIS | 6:16 a.m. EDT

In Paris, a march sandwiched between a terror attack and presidential elections

The March for Science in Paris will start in less than an hour at the Jardin des Plantes, a botanical garden, from where it will make its way past a series of research landmarks on the Left Bank, to finish at the Place St. Michel. It’s one of two dozen events today in France and its overseas territories.

The French march often to express their political views, and scientists are no exception; lab coats have flooded the streets and squares of Paris and other cities many times the past decade to protest lagging funding, a lack of permanent jobs , or proposed reforms to the academic system. The organizers of today’s march say in a statement that the event is partly about Donald Trump’s “hostile ideology” with respect to science, but also about threats in France, including politicians’ focus on “innovation and the knowledge economy.”

How many people show up today is anyone’s guess. It’s an extraordinary time in France, and Paris is on edge. Tomorrow is the first round of what could be the most consequential presidential electon in half a century; right-wing nationalist Marine Le Pen of the National Front, abhorred by most French academics, is expected to proceed to the 7 May run-off easily. (Here’s a Science news story about the race.) And this past Thursday, a gunman attacked a police bus on the Champs Elysées, a famous shopping boulevard here, killing a policeman. (The shooter, a radicalized Frenchman with a violent and criminal past, was also killed.) Several of the main presidential candidates canceled their campaign appearances yesterday.

The French, in other words, have many other things to worry about besides the future of science, which could put a damper on today’s event. On the other hand, it could also motivate people to come out and express their trust in science and reason. It will be interesting to what extent the presidential race—in which science has been notably absent—plays a role in the march. –Martin Enserink

Marchers in Paris will pass the famous Collège de France this afternoon.

College de France/Wikimedia

CAMBRIDGE, U.K. | 5:15 a.m. EDT

London calling

Science's Erik Stokstad is heading from our bureau in Cambridge, U.K. to the London march. At the train station, he met Rebecca Gladstone, right, a postdoc at the Sanger Institute, and Elizabeth Beales, left, who is associated with the Babraham research campus. They said they are marching to get people excited about science. Gladstone's shirt offers a quick lesson in the scientific method.

Erik Stokstad/Science

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA | 4:40 a.m. EDT

Robots help Korean science community engage the public

The March for Science in Seoul has turned its event into something of a science fair. A variety of science-related groups set up about 15 booths to disseminate information and attract children with biology and robotics demonstrations.

"We were trying to share science with the public," says Seungwhan Kim, a physicist at Pohang University of Science and Technology who chairs the local organizing committee. And the weather cooperated. "It's a beautiful Saturday, sunny and with clear skies; a lot of families were coming to the area," says Kim. The booths, located in a plaza in front of the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in central Seoul, were open from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. and attracted "a steady stream of people," Kim says.

An hour of speeches began at 2 p.m. local time, with 10 researchers and teachers describing their lives as scientists to an audience sprawling over the steps of the center. And at 3 p.m., there finally was a march, with about 1000 participants, proceeding through the city's Gwanghwamun district and returning to the center.

Two foreign scientists were among the 10 speakers—one from Syria, the other from the United States. There were also quite a few non-Koreans participating in the march. "It was an international event," he says. –Dennis Normile

Seungwhan Kim

HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM  | 4:29 a.m. EDT

Half a dozen take to the streets in Saigon

Here are the people who participated in the March for Science in Ho Chi Minh City—all six of them! A small but enthusiastic crowd, they say on their Twitter feed, which has a few more photos: “Only 6 of us here for the #marchforscience in Saigon but we're excited!” –Martin Enserink

Science March Saigon

DHAKA, BANGLADESH | 3:45 a.m. EDT

Science supporters gather in Bangladesh

The science march in Bangladesh earlier today was what looks like a fairly small gathering at Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University in the capital, Dhaka. Check out the Twitter feed of Arif Hossain of the Bangladesh Alliance for Science for an impression. Here’s the alliance’s march promotion video.

Update: Hossain estimates that nearly 300 people participated in the event. Here is their Facebook page; a photo is below. –Martin Enserink

Courtesy of Arif Hossain

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND | 3:10 a.m. EDT

Marchers credit science for humanity's advances

Waving banners reading from "Wasting Science is Wasting Solutions" to "Your Truth Needs Proof," an enthusiastic crowd of 300 to 400 people joined the March for Science in Auckland, New Zealand, this afternoon. Onlookers were captivated as the procession—made up of researchers, families and other science supporters—advanced up Auckland's Queen Street in the heart of the city.

The March for Science NZ organizers say they walked today for “science and knowledge to be reaffirmed as fundamental" to democratic decision-making in New Zealand, as well as to stand in solidarity with fellow scientists worldwide. March co-organizer Steph Borrelle, a conservation scientist at the Auckland University of Technology, told Science that she was also personally motivated to march as a woman in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). “I march to demand equity,” she said, "I march for all women who follow after us, so that they can flourish and make science better for everyone.”

Auckland’s march is the last of five taking place in New Zealand today, joining Christchurch, Dunedin, Palmerston North, and Wellington. Following the march, the crowd gathered around the bandstand in Albert Park to hear a number of speakers. Microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles, of the University of Auckland, began by stressing the importance of science to modern life. "Science is the reason that I—as a woman—am here today and didn't die 10 years ago when I was giving birth to my daughter," she said. "Science is why many of us didn't die before we got to the age of 5—how amazing is that?" Wiles also said that the scientists were standing with their colleagues in the humanities, who "are also taking a pounding from the government."

"When politicians use their belief systems to override the facts, the scientific facts, we are all in for a whole world of hurt," said Green Party co-leader James Shaw, thanking the crowd for standing with science. In New Zealand, "things aren't nearly as bad as they are in the United States in terms of that political discourse—but it could go that way,” he said. “We do need to stand up against that."

Shaw also stressed the importance of ensuring that science is properly funded in New Zealand. "You [scientists] are heroes, you save lives, you make the future better for all of us," he concluded. "Science is, and always will be, the reason that humanity moves forward," added Alexia Hilbertidou, founder and CEO of the New Zealand–based organization GirlBoss, which encourages young women to enter male-dominated STEM fields. She concluded: "We must be a generation brave enough to stand on the shoulders of science and see further—and then march forward into that future." –Ian Randall


SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA | 11:49 p.m. EDT

Marchers spill into streets surrounding park

The event in Sydney started at noon local time with a lineup of speakers who found themselves addressing a crowd that filled Martin Place, a pedestrian mall stretching for several blocks in the central business district. "We're absolutely packed, the crowd is massive, well beyond expectations," says Stuart Khan, an environmental engineer at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, told Science by phone. "People are overflowing onto the road," he adds. Speeches are wrapping up at 1 p.m. and then participants will march down Macquarie Street, past the building housing the New South Wales parliament, to Hyde Park, at the very center of Sydney.

The Sydney crowd probably numbers over 2000, says Jocelyn Prasad, media coordinator for the Australian marches. "We've got a wide variety of ages and groups, it's peaceful, and there is a great feeling of solidarity," she adds. "We're feeling pretty happy about it just now."

They don't yet have turnout numbers for the other eight marches happening around Australia at different times today. But the other events also seem to be going well. "We're happy to be kicking it off globally, we're hoping they get a good turnout in the States," Prasad says. –Dennis Normile

Corey Watts

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA | 11:03 p.m. EDT

A spin around the Sydney march


TOKYO, JAPAN | 10:30 p.m. EDT

Small but enthusiastic crowd marching through downtown Tokyo

The numbers for the march in Tokyo are modest at just 50 to 60, as a result of a late start on organizing. "It's not a huge number, but we are all quite excited, certainly," says Rintaro Mori, a health policy expert at Japan’s National Center for Child Health and Development in Tokyo. Starting at 11 a.m. local time, marchers were heading out from Hibiya Park, which is located in the heart of the capital's governmental ministry district, and walk through the streets to Tokyo Station. "People from the governmental sector will be able to see us quite well," Mori says.

In addition to the typical signs pronouncing "Science not Silence" and "Respect Science," Mori says several people are carrying banners focusing on particular concerns, including the environment and renewable energy. One marcher in Christian religious garb is carrying a Japanese language sign that reads: "Religious people respect science."

You can see pictures of the Tokyo march on the Twitter account of @neuroamanda. –Dennis Normile

Amanda Alvarez

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND | 10:15 p.m. EDT

New Zealand sounds off

Science contributor Ian Randall is in Auckland, New Zealand, where the march recently began. Participants are chanting "science stops silence!"—and "science not silence!"—as they head up Queen Street in Central Auckland, he reports, led by microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles.

Ian Randall/Science

BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA | 9:33 p.m. EDT

South Korea joins in

Marchers in Busan plan to gather at a Korean War veterans memorial, conduct some group chants, and march around the perimeter of the park. Busan is South Korea's second biggest city, behind Seoul.


AUSTRALIA | 8:55 p.m. EDT

Australians start heading to their marches

David Hyland-Wood, a writer, speaker, and computer researcher, took this shot of some marchers heading for the march in Brisbane. Australia's marches are about to get underway. Bernadette Hyland (right) is a Ph.D. student at the University of Queensland studying evidence-based policy. The two students to the left will be speaking at the march, Hyland-Wood says.

David Hyland-Wood (CC BY 4.0)

Beefy turnout in Wellington


TOKORIKI, FIJI | 7:46 p.m. EDT

Can't beat this marcher's view

Julie Robson, a former lemur geneticist, and her 7-year-old daughter join the New Zealand marchers in spirit from a Fiji beach. Robson, whose @joolzr Twitter bio says she's a "primatologist who got a bit lost, and found her place to stand," now works as a consultant for the University of Auckland, nongovernmental organizations, and others.

Julie Robson

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND | 7:11 p.m. EDT

Flower power

Megan Woods, a member of New Zealand's parliament representing the Labour Party, is among the marchers and took this photo. "Wanting us politicians to use evidence when making policy is not confined to scientists," she wrote on Twitter. Woods is the Labour spokesperson for climate change.

Megan Woods

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND | 6:37 p.m. EDT

Leaf science alone

Marchers gather in Cathedral Square before an 18-meter-high sculpture that commemorated the new millennium. It depicts the leaves of 42 plant species that are native to the island nation.


They're off and walking in New Zealand!


Marchers get their heads together


WASHINGTON, D.C. | 6:00 p.m. EDT

What are editorial pages saying?

The marches haven’t started yet, but editorial page writers around the world are already weighing in. Here’s a small sampling of opinions:

The Washington Post argues that “The March for Science could save lives” by reminding the public of the importance of research to fight diseases such as Ebola. But it urges marchers to remember that winning science funding battles can mean plunging into politics. “Many of those organizing and participating in the March for Science say it is a statement of belief in the power of empirical discovery, and not an anti-Trump protest,” the Post editorial notes. “It is fine to remain nonpartisan, but that should not mean being blissfully ignorant of the realities of politics. The battles to come in Washington over spending priorities could determine whether the United States will remain a global leader in scientific research.”

In Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald notes that “Australians are not used to scientists and engineers being public figures.” Still, it “welcomes this public expression of support for science and rationality. However, we worry that displays of hubris or overt attempts to politicise the debate for narrow self-interest could cause a backlash among the very people the organisers claim to be speaking to: members of the public who do not trust science.”

At Cleveland.com, a roundtable of editorial writers was generally supportive of the march. But Ted Diadiun, one editorial board member, took a dim view. “A grandstand play, put on by people who don’t like Trump or the GOP, regardless, that has nothing to do with climate change, alternative fuels or any other science. These folks ought to put their pocket protectors back in their short-sleeved dress shirts and get back into the labs where they belong.”

The Independent, which serves Livermore, California—home to the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory—notes that “science plays a large role in the economy of the area” and is urging local scientists to “take a stand in favor of research; take part in the march.” –David Malakoff


WASHINGTON, D.C. | 6:00 p.m. EDT

Ready, set …

Welcome to Science’s live, global coverage of the March for Science.

The first of more than 600 marches will kick off in New Zealand on Friday night, U.S. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). The Washington, D.C., march opens its grounds at 8 a.m. EDT. The last marches will occur in Hawaii on Saturday night EDT.

Science reporters are on the ground around the world, following the action and speaking with marchers. Come back to see our frequent updates, and follow along on Twitter at @ScienceInsider and @NewsfromScience.

If you are marching this weekend, please take a moment to fill out our survey. And if you want to catch up on all of our previous march coverage, check out our March for Science story archive.

Finally, feel free to tweet your march thoughts and pictures to @ScienceInsider.