Saturday's marches in over 600 cities around the world—including a massive march in Washington, D.C.—mark an unprecedented mobilization of researchers and experts who are fighting back against President Donald Trump's war on science.
Indeed, for many scientists involved, taking part in a March for Science is their first collective political action. Organizers hope that it will be the first of many. As one scientist wrote about his own political awakening several years ago:
Attending the People's Climate March was a life-changing experience. I marched alongside more than 310,000 individuals in the heart of NYC to call our world leaders to start taking serious action against climate change. That day I understood the difference I could make by becoming part of something greater than myself.
Furthermore, I recognized that staying on the sidelines to claim "objectivity" as a scientist was not an option. Sitting this fight out would mean staying silent while I watched disenfranchised and vulnerable communities suffer. By staying silent, I would be denying my own relationship to these communities, my own humanity, and I would be ignoring my responsibility as a citizen to fully participate in the democratic process.
"Marching is only the beginning," wrote the climate scientist Peter Kalmus in YES! Magazine. "To stop the massive, wealthy, and violent system of power destroying the planet, we're going to need to stand up to power with our entire beings."
The D.C. rally begins at 10am EDT, with the march planned for 2pm EDT, while demonstrations have already been taking place elsewhere in the world.