Riverside residents advocate for science

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Many come together to express their disagreement with science research budget cuts

By Samantha Bartholomew

Hundreds of Riverside residents gathered in downtown Riverside for the March for Science on April 22, including Riverside City College students from the Student Sustainability Collective.

The march was one of many that took place across the country in support for scientists, fact-based research and environmental preservation.

“It’s amazing to meet so many bright people who take the time to stand up for what matters,” march attendee Mary Coppin said.

The marches serve to protest President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to the science budget. Protesters are demanding Trump take science into account when making policy decisions on the environment and research.

“My administration is committed to advancing scientific research that leads to a better understanding of our environment and of environmental risks,” Trump said in an Earth Day statement.

However, in his budget outline released last month, Trump showed  planned funding cuts to programs such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“The fact that we have to rally support for clear facts speaks volumes about the state of our society,” march attendee Jonathan Devon said.

Over the years, scientists have not been viewed as political figures, but the election and inauguration of Trump has spurred many in the scientific community into action.

“We value our intellectual abilities. We value science,” said Cal State Fullerton student Jeff D. Rosenblum to the Orange County Register.

The march also featured speakers from the science community, including UC Riverside’s Dr. Michelle Duennes. Duennes is a postdoctoral researcher of entomology, the study of insects.

“Learning about evolution made me feel more connected to the world,” said Duennes. “It made me more invested in the future of our planet.”

The People’s Climate Rally, another science promoting organization, will hold a rally April 29 to protest the president’s attack on “the hard-won protections of our climate, health and communities.”

“I am moved by how many people across the country defend science,”  Duennes said. “The fight does not end today.”

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