Upcoming march focuses on science

BIG RAPIDS — Motorists may see marchers along State Street on Saturday, April 22, as Big Rapids is participating the national March for Science.

“The idea is basically to promote, and kind of push back against, the way science has been treated in the political sphere, the way funding has started to be cut from scientific research, the way scholarship has been treated and the way evidence-based decision making is being ignored,” said Victor Piercey, one of the march coordinators.

The March for Science, on Earth Day, will begin at 3:30 p.m. at Top Taggart Field on Ferris State University’s campus. March participants will travel to State Street, then continue to the intersection on Perry Avenuebefore returning to Top Taggart Field.

“It’s really nice to have this here,” said Fran Rosen, one of the march coordinators. “There are a lot of scientists here. A lot of what we teach and do at Ferris is related to science and is evidence-based. This seemed like a good opportunity to talk about that.

“There are a lot of questions about whether data is going to be available. There have been some changes in how data gets distributed and made available that are raising some concerns about will we be able to access information. We are a very science-based society in general and there is a huge amount of data and information that is gathered through all different arms of the government and different entities. Having that all available makes it possible to do all kinds of interesting research and learn a lot more about the world.”

Rosen said science and the march are bipartisan.

“It’s not political,” she said. “Making science a partisan issue is one of the things that people are very concerned about and something they want to oppose. We aren’t protesting anything local. This is a call to return to the reality of looking at the world and making decisions based on what we know and what we can theorize.”

While Rosen and Piercey said there has been a lot of positive feedback on the march’s Facebook page, Piercey does not expect a large crowd for the event.

“Just the fact that this happens and takes place in a place as small as Big Rapids sends a statement,” he said.

For more information about the Big Rapids march, contact Piercey at vpiercey@gmail.com.

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Posted by Meghan Gunther-Haas

Meghan is the education reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review. She can be reached at (231) 592-8382 or by email at mhaas@pioneergroup.com.

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