Northwest will host March for Science, an event in support of scientists and the work they do.
March for Science will be hosted by the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences April 22. This is the first year in which the event will be hosted by the University, but it is an annual event which is held on or around Earth Day across the nation.
The event is nonpartisan and open to the public, not just those interested in science. According to the March for Science website, the march is not only about scientists and politicians, but about the very real role that science plays in everyone's lives, and the need to respect and encourage research that gives insight into the world.
Assistant Professor Peter Adam, who teaches biology classes at Northwest, helped organize and localize the march to Maryville. He hopes the event will help bring awareness not only to people in Maryville, but across the country.
“More or less, awareness is our goal of the march. Not necessarily bring awareness to the community as I think certainly among the University people value science,” Adam said. “But by adding our numbers to the national scheme of things, we are going to add another march. It is going to add more people to that national number and bring that much more awareness.”
Freshman Jordon Winn, who is majoring in cellular biology/biochemistry, thinks the event will allow people to truly understand and realize how important science is to society.
“The march is important because so many people forget just how vital science is,” Winn said. “Without it, the world would not continue to advance. Without it, we would not have the technology or the information that is vital in keeping the Earth healthy. Advances in medicine, along with environmental realizations, are largely dependent on science.”
President Donald Trump’s cuts to the federal budget are being made to academic fundings, which has harmed the field of science. Adam hopes the event will draw more attention to how the field is suffering under the government.
“It (the march) shows unity in various disciplines by bring everyone together. The march is very important especially when you have disciplines which are buried under decision the government is making which aren’t necessarily in keeping with the old disciplines that were in place,” Adam said. “We are seeing the withdraw of funds from PBS and the sciences through canceling of grants across the board. It can be a pretty bad time for academics right now.”
Winn also believes the march could bring inspiration and support from people across all academic fields.
“I hope this march brings inspiration,” Winn said. “The more people who feel inspired by science, the better.”
Science is a part of our daily lives, though it is often hard to see that. For Adam, science is a complex field that is responsible for helping the world advance and become better each day.
“If you think about what all science contributes to society, it is not all about finding out how rats run a maze,” Adam said. “Though that information does help create things like medicines, which help people in their everyday lives. Science is responsible for the technology that you carry in your pocket every day, and ultimately, it is science which makes those advances come true.”
In the end, the most vital parts of the march are the marchers and the support it gets. Winn hopes the event will draw out a large and diverse crowd to gain the support the march needs.
“I encourage everyone, even those who are not science majors, to get involved with the march,” Winn said. “Science plays a huge role in the world and some people do not even know it.”