March for Science attendance figures are in, and while the numbers aren’t impressive as those recorded for the Women’s March and March for Life, they suggest a solid turnout. Not to be left out of the discussion, however, are the scores of clever, funny March for Science signs that were seen at yesterday’s rallies across America and some other parts of the world.
As of Saturday morning, things weren’t looking too busy over at Washington, D.C., as only about a thousand people were preparing for the March for Science. Attendance figures, according to the Washington Times, were far behind those recorded for the March for Life and Women’s March, but expected to reach tens of thousands later on in the day.
According to the Resistance Report, the Washington, D.C. march ultimately attracted about 40,000 people, the same estimate for the turnout at the satellite march in Chicago. The New York City March for Science’s attendance was at approximately 20,000, while the Philadelphia and London, England marches attracted about 10,000 individuals each. These figures all suggest yesterday was quite a busy day for scientists and science buffs protesting against the perceived disdain the Trump administration has for science and climate change research in particular.
Although one would think that such demonstrations and protests are mostly geared toward younger adults, some March for Science rallies had attracted some older protesters, including some respected names in their field. Vox cited the example of 87-year-old atomic physicist Charlotte Froese Fischer, who attended the D.C. march – the first-ever political rally she had ever attended in her entire life.
“I always thought science was important, and this is an opportunity to express it,” Fischer told Vox‘s Brian Resnick.
Over in Seattle, an even older scientist had taken part in the city’s March for Science, proudly confirming his attendance in a report from the Seattle Times. At 97-years-old and moving around in a wheelchair, University of Washington professor emeritus of biochemistry Eddy Fischer had some very critical comments against the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and National Institutes of Health, telling the publication that it’s “tragic” and “frightening” that some people don’t seem to believe in climate change.
“I know very little about politics. I’m appalled by some of the statements coming out of them.”
As observed by the Inquisitr, Vox, and other publications, the March for Science wasn’t just well-attended; it was also a great source of funny and/or clever signs. Moreover, these March for Science signs didn’t just come from scientists, but also people like Dara Moss, a digital advertising professional who attended the Washington D.C. march and held up a sign with the words “F**k Trump” in binary.
“A lot of us were comfortable over the last eight years,” said Moss in an interview with Vox. “(President Donald Trump) fired up a group of people who wouldn’t normally come out and do this sort of thing.”
Even young children were in attendance at the March for Science, such as nine-year-old Boston resident Corbin Shefelbine. Vox‘s Brian Resnick admitted having to be told by Shefelbine several times that his sign represents Laplace’s equation, and when he asked the young boy about why he likes science, Corbin had a simple, yet profound answer ready for the reporter.
“It makes up everything.”
As for funny March for Science signs, there was no shortage of them, such as Cumberland, Md. man Chuck Flannigan, who was at the D.C. march to represent mortuary science, while carrying a “Hail Sagan” sign. While written as a play of words on the expression “Hail Satan,” complete with a pentagram on the left and an anarchy symbol on the right, Flannigan’s sign was, of course, a tribute to the late American astronomer Carl Sagan.
The March for Science also saw several signs paying tribute to characters from the Star Trek franchise, particularly Leonard Nimoy’s Mr. Spock character from the original series, and Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Not everyone may be able to get the obscure scientific references on the signs protesters brought with them to the March for Science. But as the strong attendance figures and plethora of witty signs suggest, yesterday’s marches were a success, and a clear sign that many people aren’t comfortable with the idea of science taking a back seat when it comes to the national budget.
[Featured Image by Reed Saxon/AP Images]