March for Science draws 200 in Saskatoon

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March for Science draws 200 in Saskatoon

About 200 people rallied in Saskatoon's Victoria Park Saturday to take part in a local offshoot of the worldwide March for Science movement.

The event was meant to call attention to the importance of scientific information in political decision-making, and was born out of a reddit conversation following the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

"We do this really cool work, we do all this exciting stuff, but unless we communicate it effectively to the public, they don't always understand what we're doing and why we're doing it and how they're actually benefiting as a result of it," said march participant and organizer Adam McInnes, who's completing a masters in biomedical engineering at the University of Saskatchewan. 

"We need to recognize the importance of science in what we do, both at societal and governmental levels," he said. 

Fellow attendee Andrew Darychuk proudly showed off a double-sided sign. One one side was scrawled the message "We Love Experts." On the other, "Climate Action Now." 

"I feel that this is a very important thing we're doing today, to bring about awareness," said Darychuk. "I have a passionate interest in science and climate change is a big concern for me."

The Trump administration has suggested funding cuts to various scientific arms; climate change information was taken off federal websites and other scientific branches have been told not to post anything on social media.

Frustrated scientists voiced their concerns and suggested that they organize a march similar to the Women's March.

Women's issues drive some 

Julia Price is with Women's March Saskatoon, one of the organizers of Saturday's rally.

She said her organization was participating to promote women's involvement in science.

"Women typically haven't been as involved with science as we'd like and so it's important to get women out there and to get them to recognize that science is a part of everybody's everyday life," said Price.

Mark Bigland-Pritchard from Climate Justice Saskatoon said water quality and the Husky oil spill were among the reasons he felt it was important to march in Saskatchewan.  

"The key thing for us is that it's important that we actually develop policies which are based on the scientific evidence which climate scientists are bringing to us," said Bigland-Pritchard.

March followed by eco-science fair

Held to coincide with Earth Day, the Saskatoon rally began at 1:30 p.m. CST at Victoria Park, starting with presentations by speakers.

Rally participants were encouraged to wear white clothing or costumes such as lab coats or space suits. 

The march was followed by an eco-science fair at Victoria Park from 2:45 p.m. to 4 p.m. CST.