Calgarians join worldwide March for Science

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Calgarians join worldwide March for Science

Calgary's Olympic Plaza was a brainy place to be Saturday with hundreds taking part in the March For Science.

The event saw the nearly 800-strong crowd march across Macleod Trail S.E. to Municipal Plaza to highlight the important role science should play in forming government policy and decision making.

The Calgary event was one of many held around the world in conjunction with a rally in Washington aimed at bringing awareness to recent policy changes by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration.

In his first budget, Trump cut funding to the Environmental Protection Agency by 31 per cent while education was cut by 13 per cent.

The rallies also coincided with the annual Earth Day celebration.

Trump's office put out an Earth Day statement, saying that "rigorous science" is critical to protecting America's environment and growing the economy.

"My administration is committed to advancing scientific research that leads to a better understanding of our environment and of environmental risks," Trump said in the statement.

"As we do so, we should remember that rigorous science depends not on ideology, but on a spirit of honest inquiry and robust debate."

The day was about showing the importance of science as a driver of policy change, said Laura Myers, an English teacher.

"As somebody who's promoting curiosity and wants kids and people in general to be aware of their surroundings, we have to embrace the evidence-based information that's provided for us," she said.

"If we just go blithely along, assuming all our decisions are correct without evidence to support them, then we're wasting money and we're wasting resources and we're not doing what we could be doing to make the world a better place."

Sadie Parr is part of Wolf Awareness, a Golden, B.C.-based conservation and education organization.

"We can't deny the science and we have to start using what we know to make decisions," she said.

"There seems to be a muzzling of science still ... it's difficult to get information. One of the things they were talking about here is having open access to information for the public... and also investing in science and citizen science."

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