WASHINGTON – Thousands of people at the National Mall spent Saturday in front of the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Capitol. UU To advocate for science to play a more important role in society, and stressed how research is already stirring from guns to immigration.

"What do we want?" Science: When do we want it? After the peer review, "the multitude of science researchers, medical professionals and social advocates chanted while putting on lab coats and holding posters of" Science, not silence "on a summer day similar to a summer.

Science defends in the nation's capital the second annual March for Science joined 500 marches around the world to send a clear message to public officials: that evidence-based policy decisions are critical and science does not It must be ignored.

Cliff Andrew, 71, part-time assistant professor "We live our lives in science, but we do not always promote it politically and that's extremely important," Andrew said.

Attended the March for our lives and the march of women advocating legislation on weapons and women's issues earlier this year, but said that the march of science is the most important.

"It's not sexy like guns," Andrew said of March For Science. But he pointed out how scientific facts play a role in the issue of armed violence.

More: March for science: scientists have returned and are ready to go

More: For scientists, the March is just the beginning

Susan Sorenson, professor of public policy at the University of Pennsylvania, emphasized the need to see armed violence as a medical problem. "A public health perspective is important because it focuses on the full spectrum of armed violence," Sorenson said.

Advocates also emphasized seeing other problems, such as the opiate crisis or water pollution in Flint, Michigan, through a lens of science.

"The scariest thing is that Flint is not alone," said Mari Copeny, 10, also known as "Little Miss Flint." "We need the government to listen to science."

Copeny, a native of Flint, began a campaign to send fresh water to his hometown, where four years have passed since a change in the source of drinking water caused lead levels to spike in the city's water supply . Michigan recently announced that it would complete a program to provide free bottled water to residents of Flint, but Copeny and his supporters say the water is still contaminated.

"They said:" Oh, our water is good. "No, it's not. People are dying, "Copeny told USA TODAY.

Leana Wen, health commissioner for the city of Baltimore, spoke to the crowd today about the realities of the opiate epidemic in her inner city. the way he sees addiction, he emphasized, adding that "science shows us that addiction is a disease, not a moral error."

To meet the demand, Wen said he needs to ration drugs that treat patients with overdoses. He also called for more funding from the federal government In October, President Trump declared the opiate crisis a public health emergency.

"Where is the funding? We are asking for resources, "added Wen.

Last year's march came a month after Trump, who called global warming a hoax, signed an executive order aimed at reversing climate change and policies, Trump said his priority by signing the order it was the energy independence of the United States and the creation of jobs.

Defenders of science say they want to maintain the critical role of science in everyday life and encourage government leaders to make science a part of its platforms.

While participation was much lower this year compared to the estimated 100,000 in the first DC march, a passionate crowd did not It dissuaded him from showing his pride in science.

Gay Gibson from Richmond, Virginia, attended the DC march with his daughter Sophie, a sixth grader who wants to be a veterinarian.

"I have great concerns about my children's future in the environment," Gibson said. "We are all connected."

She said her daughter was more concerned with the problems related to the levels of carbon dioxide that contribute to global climate change, further aggravating droughts. He cited the current water problem in Cape Town – where the reservoirs soon dry up due to drought – as one of his concerns.

"We need everyone to pay attention to what is happening because the reality is that we could run out of water," Gibson said.

For many, this march is part of a large movement of concentrations to show their support for many problems that the Trump administration opposes.

Ashley Sisson, 27, of DC called it an "abomination" about how Trump refers to science. A neonatal nurse, Sisson said that the defenders of science should be more expressive.

"People who are involved in science are not the people who are making the most noise, they are just doing the work," said Sisson. "It's not glamorous to be in a lab every day."

Sisson attended the march in D.C. last year together with Wendy Southwell, 46, who is from the Caribbean. Southwell said his home island was destroyed by a series of deadly hurricanes during the summer.

"It has made me worse," Southwell said of the state of science in society since the last march.

Colin Jones, 29, of Vienna, Virginia, does not have a scientific background, but still sees value in prioritizing science.

"If you go to something with just a science fund or only with a public policy lens, you will lose the intersection between the two," he said.

Jones hopes that the march will continue the biggest push to revitalize civil society and public participation in policy issues.

"There was a general calm of complacency while a more progressive and liberal administration was in power," he said.

Evelyn Valdez-Ward, 24, of Houston, is Ph.D. student at the University of California, Irvine. A DREAMer, Valdez-Ward said that science and immigration are interconnected issues.

"I can not leave the country and other people can not get in. If we could work together around the world, then we can respond to our world's problems," he said.

Valdez-Ward studies the science of soil and climate change and thinks about how the world can feed its population with current agricultural practices. But his road to research was not easy. She said she faced many challenges trying to find graduate opportunities given her immigration status.

"They gave me many problems and obstacles, and they said 'No, we do not accept illegal' without considering my scientific ability at all," he said.

Follow Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller

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