Vermonters To Join Global 'March For Science' With Events Across The State

Apr 21, 2017

Rain or shine, local scientists and supporters say they will be turning out in multiple locations in Vermont—and across the country— to speak up for science on Saturday.

Organizers of the Burlington March for Science say they expect a crowd of about 500. There will also be a rally at the Statehouse in Montpelier, and events in Brattleboro, Rutland and at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich. 

Engineer Gretchen Schimelpfenig is a lead organizer of the Burlington march. She says she became involved because she was disturbed by the Trump administration's threats to cut science funding, and she wanted to make the importance of science and technology known. 

She says the goal of the march is to "communicate our passion for science and to, hopefully, spread that message that science is embraced by most people in America. And that it should be funded, and it should be incorporated as part of evidence-based policy on legislative level."

The Burlington march is funded by donations, as well as corporate sponsorships from Seventh Generation, the ECHO center, Dynapower and the Lintilhac Foundation.

Some University of Vermont professors are among those celebrating science.

"I'm going to bring my 82-year-old mother with me, and my kids with me," says Taylor Rickett, the director of the Gund Institute for Environment. "I think it's really important that this is a march for science, not a march by scientists ... I think it's about the value of science to all our lives, not about just scientists defending their livelihoods."

The idea of the March for Science was born after the Trump administration threatened to cut funding for certain agencies and research. 

National organizers say in addition to the march in Washington, D.C., there are more than 600 events planned around the world. Organizers from the Vermont Peace and Justice center have arranged for two buses to bring Vermonters to the nation's capital for those who want to join the march there.

Planned marches and science events in Vermont include:

BURLINGTON:

UVM's Royal Tyler Theatre 
4:30 — 7:30 p.m.

MONTPELIER:

Vermont Statehouse 
12 — 1:30 p.m.

BRATTELBORO

Positive Geek
12 — 5:00 p.m.

RUTLAND

Rutland Free Library
10:30 a.m.