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Thousands worldwide to march for science April 22

Scientists and science enthusiasts in Toledo are preparing to join colleagues in more than 400 cities across the globe in a March for Science on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22.

The Toledo Satellite March is being sponsored by the Northwestern Ohio Chapter of the Association for Women in Science and Imagination Station.

In addition, several UT student groups, including the Biology Graduate Student Association, Careers in Science, the Environmental Graduate Student Association, Experimental Psychology Graduate Student Association, the Graduate Student Association, and the Rocket Subunit of the American Fisheries Society, will participate in the March and host activity tables.

Starting at 10 a.m., a rally will be held at International Park. Speakers at the rally will include Dr. Tom E. Brady, founder of Plastic Technologies Inc. and sponsor of the Brady Engineering Innovation Center at The University of Toledo; Dr. Cecelia M. Adams, retired assistant superintendent of Toledo Public Schools and member of the Toledo City Council; and Nick Dulaney, a UT junior studying physics who recently helped discover a new star and is the lead author in a published research paper.

After the rally, marchers will cross the Martin Luther King Bridge and walk to Imagination Station, where there will be a variety of hands-on activities and teach-ins meant to engage the public. Activities will include performing DNA isolation from check cells and making seed necklaces, giant soap bubbles and edible gummy worms.

WNWO NBC 24 Meteorologist Kimberly Newman will be there for some weather simulations. In addition, Imagination Station will have an egg drop inside the science center, which is free for children in Lucas County on Saturdays.

“Scientists, by and large, are driven to observe the natural world. We carefully record the what, when and where in order to understand the how and why of life’s mysteries. The scientific process is the tool we use to accomplish this,” Dr. Susanne Nonekowski, president of the Northwestern Ohio Chapter of the Association for Women in Science and UT associate lecturer of medicinal and biological chemistry in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, said.

“Unfortunately, science and scientific evidence is being used in ways that undermine its value. This has created a culture of mistrust and outright contempt for evidence-based research. This shift has perpetuated a new public attitude that any scientific evidence that disagrees with an individual’s personal beliefs should be ignored, discredited and most frighteningly, outright suppressed. It is this growing perception that science is based largely on personal opinion rather than reproducible scientific fact that has fueled the March for Science here and across the world.”

The March for Science is supported by more than 800 reputable, nonpartisan organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Public Health Association, Sigma Xi and Earth Day Network.

“Those participating in the march will come from all walks of life; all races, religions, gender identities and sexual orientations. They will have different political perspectives, different nationalities and socioeconomic backgrounds. However, they will be united in their support of science education and scientific research,” Nonekowski said. “Their love of science has led them to advocate for using scientific evidence to help guide public policies. The mission of the march is to share and highlight the contributions of science and to inspire future generations to uphold the values of curiosity, free speech, free inquiry and critical thinking.”