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Scientists around the world march to request policies based on facts

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  • Tue, 04/17/2018 - 14:37
Marcha por la Ciencia
  • Sciencemag.org

In the era in which the Government of the world's leading power USA speaks of "alternative facts", the world's scientists will take to the streets this weekend to demand leaders and legislators policies based on scientific evidence.

Scientists will hang up the white coat to hold banners at the about 250 marches to be held this Saturday in different parts of the world, highlighting dozen marches organized in the United States, place where the initiative arose last year and that now holds its second great annual edition.

One of the challenges set by the organization is to pressure world’s politicians to develop policies based on the scientific research demonstrated.

Precisely, its origin in 2017 was a response to the cuts in science and research and environmental protection that were announced by President Donald Trump, after being invested.

The diversity within the scientific community, the advances generated through research and bringing to the classroom the world of laboratories and scientific conferences are other reasons that lead them to organize.

Marina Suárez, one of the spokespersons for the demonstration in San Antonio, Texas, will be one of the voices customizing and leading these slogans.

Professor of Geology at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Suárez has garnered among other achievements the naming of a kind of dinosaur, which was discovered by her and her twin sister, Celina, in 2010 in the state of Utah.

The "Geminiraptor suarezarum" -name given to the reptile in honor of the researchers who discovered it-was between 1.82 and 2.13 meters long and existed about 127 million years ago, when there were species belonging to the Upper Cretaceous and other dinosaurs with a more Jurassic style.

The first term of the name refers to the relationship between the twin sisters, while the second collects their surname.

Finding a dinosaur is something every kid dreams of, so it was really exciting to be the first person to see the remains of animals that have been gone for millions of years," said Suárez in statements collected by Johns Hopkins University when the discovery took place.

Suárez's scientific work was recognized in 2016 with a scholarship worth half a million dollars to support research works in paleoclimatology in the United States, China and Spain, as reported by the University of Texas.

Another expert who will take the microphone is Evelyn Valdez-Ward, an undocumented young woman and beneficiary of the not yet operational program of Deferred Action (DACA), who is preparing her doctorate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California in Irvine.

Valdez-Ward tries to advocate for environmental protection from her research, but in recent months she has also tried to pressure the scientific community to mobilize and defend the "dreamers", the term used to call undocumented young people covered by DACA until last September, when Trump revoked it.

The story of the scientist was collected by the leader of the Democratic minority in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, during a debate on the federal budget last February, in which she praised the work of Valdez-Ward, who is currently studying the effects of climate change in the interaction between plants and their microbes.

This year the organizers of the marches, whose epicenter is Washington, expect less assistance than on April 22 last year, when they managed to star in 600 marches in 66 countries and gather, according to their data, about one million people in total .

Then, more than 80% of the people who attended the demonstrations said that it was the first time they took to the streets to claim a cause.

Now, professors, students, researchers and community leaders will march in different latitudes, from Abuja (Nigeria) to Lima (Peru), with the same objective: to claim the role of science in today's world. EFEUSA

By Javier Pachón Bocanegra (EFEUSA)

 

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