Colorful posters and friendly banter floated about the air on a warm Saturday morning. The third annual March for Science, hosted by the K-State Physics Club, attracted people from all over Manhattan to gather in the Quad.
Marchers walked from the Quad, along Manhattan Avenue and into Aggieville as well as through other areas on campus and around it. People young and old were present at the gathering.
Michael Crisp, vice president of the physics club and senior in physics and electrical engineering, said the march began after President Donald Trump was elected.
“This is the third annual Manhattan, Kansas March for Science satellite march,” Crisp said. “We’re just here advocating for fact-based policy [and] legislation that actually reflects the general scientific consensus in the community on all sorts of issues — not just climate change, which is probably the biggest one we’re concerned about, but also the way funding is handed out and such.”
Trump has previously dismissed climate change as a hoax, and pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement. Before his inauguration, many climate scientists began downloading climate data from government websites out of fear it would be removed.
A glance at the March for Science website shows a large number of satellite marches worldwide, spanning nearly every continent. According to the website, their mission includes values such as inclusion, being nonpartisan and more.
Cheyne Wies, senior in physics and march organizer, said the March for Science is important for a lot of reasons.
“There’s a lot of information out there and it’s important that people back their evidence that they’re using to support policy or anything else that they do with science,” Weis said. “Climate change, vaccines — [there’s] a lot of issues out there. There’s a pretty clear side that evidence takes and science takes that I think is important.”
Crisp said the turn out this year was comparable to the first year, but the turn out the second year was much smaller, possibly due to the weather. He said he hopes they can foster awareness and change in the community.
“Hopefully we show that there’s people that are concerned,” Crisp said. “The biggest effect that protests have is taking issues that people are aware of and showing them a physical body that is actually concerned with the cause. This can motivate people to look into it, at least. Hopefully, we can spur some positive change in terms of just showing people how much care there is.”