‘Science, not silence’: Students, professors join hands at the March for Science

Led by Michael Crisp, junior in physics, several K-State students and faculty marched in the name of science from the Quad to City Park on Saturday. (Alex Todd | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State students and members of the Manhattan community met up in Waters Quad to march across Manhattan in the name of science Saturday.

Last year, over 1 million people participated in the March for Science in hundreds of locations across the globe. In 2018, supporters united once more to advocate for science.

Michael Crisp, junior in physics and computer engineering, organized Manhattan’s local march. Crisp said the march advocates for funding of scientific research in regards to climate change, the impact of wildfires, gun violence and education.

“These fields desperately need funding in comparison to other things that are over-funded,” Crisp said.

Crisp said the march also protests “censorship” of research in politics.

“We are for science, not silence,” Crisp said. “We are against the censorship of scientific findings if they do not suit a political agenda.”

Crisp said this censorship is most notably seen in research on climate change, gun violence, racial issues and gender inclusivity.

“We march for all these things,” Crisp said. “We are also concerned with the ethical approach of science insofar with how it’s been used in the past to really hurt marginalized groups. … As scientists and students of science, it’s important to be aware of the power we ourselves have.”

During the march through Aggieville and City Park, many students in science-related majors held signs saying things like, “Less invasions, more equations,” “Act now or swim later” and “I’m with the Earth.”

“For me, personally, I’ve always loved science,” Jessica Pietrowski, sophomore in physics, said. “And in today’s political climate, with so many decisions being made that completely disregard science, I feel like it is important to remind the world that science is important and valid.”

Professors also participated in the march alongside their students.

“We want people to realize that science is important for all of us and for our lifestyle that we want to maintain,” said Brett DePaola, professor and interim department head of physics. “Science is good for humanity, and I think people need to understand that and get interested in learning some science even if they don’t want to be scientists.”