As we were being driven toward the Washington DC National Mall On Earth Day, April 22 for the March for Science you could see people streaming toward the Washington Monument. On sidewalks, in raincoats, carrying thousands of homemade as well as preprinted signs, walking in groups of 2, 3, 4 and more, a lot of them grouped by disciplines. Entomologists on the left (“Black Widows for Science!”), physicists ahead dressed in Albert Einstein wigs and lab coats, science communication researchers on the right (“Science not Silence!”). A hundred thousand graduate students, lab post docs, professors and researchers, federal government staffers, one girl wearing a space shuttle made out of cardboard, a boy dressed like Bill Nye the Science Guy (best sign: “Without science, Bill Nye would be just a guy”), and me wearing all Green & White and holding a large Spartan umbrella and responding “Go White!” to calls every 60 seconds of “Go Green!”. It was a proud day to be a MSU Spartan.
A Voice of America television crew followed me and a PhD from the MSU college of education for several hours, chronicling our experiences as we met an MSU physicist and listened to an MSU pediatrician rally the growing crowd (“What do we want?” “Science!” “When do we want it?” “Now!”) They were just one of the many many media organizations on-site with cameras rolling. Questlove and his Big Band up on stage with a rocking horn section. Bill Nye the Science Guy whipping up the mass of scientists, young and old. Thomas Dolby thrilling the crowd in the light rain with his smash hit “She Blinded Me with Science!” It was all serious and all fun. It may also be just the start of researchers, academics and scientists and students standing up for knowledge and facts and their role in continuing to make a better world.