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PHOTOS: Scientists Take To Washington To Stress A Nonpartisan Agenda

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Photo by Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Participants in the March for Science walk along Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

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Photo by Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Brad Slocum researches forms of ceramics that allow for more efficient spacecraft. He says he's such a fan of one late 19th century scientist named Josiah Gibbs, that he tattooed Gibbs' free energy equation on his arm.

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Photo by Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Lelah Marie is studying classical greek and says it's given her a new appreciation for early Greek scientists like Archimedes.

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Photo by Meredith Rizzo/NPR

People gather to watch a presentation during the rally near the Washington Monument.

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Photo by Meredith Rizzo/NPR

(Left) Art Sinclair, Tim Baird and Jay Sinclair say their lifelong love for science brought them to the March. (Right) Martin Blecher made his sign. "I think this is perhaps the most recognized scientific equation. I haven't found anybody that would argue with it. It's nonpolitical. It works," he says.

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Photo by Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Sally Belcher says her hope is "that science comes off the shelf and into the general population, so you're not a nerd to be into science."

Photo caption:

Photo by Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Participants seek cover from the rain to watch the rally.

Attendees from across the country descended on the nation's capital to speak up for science.

The March for Science unfolded on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, and in multiple cities around the world. Coinciding with Earth Day, the event drew researchers, educators and scientifically-minded people.

The event kicked off with open teaching sessions on the Mall, followed by a rally near the Washington Monument, and then a march that traveled to the U.S. Capitol building.

NPR spoke to some of the participants about why they decided to attend the March for Science.

Brad Slocum, a materials engineer from Virginia, said he was worried about funding for research.

"I think it's important to stand up to the current administration's threats to cut funding for scientific research no matter what the field. From the EPA to basic research funding, when they make those cuts all of us suffer."

Lelah Marie, a former teacher from Philadelphia, said she has two daughters who are both working scientists.

"I think [people] have to speak up. It's so important that people get a basic education in this country and that includes a good solid science education."

Marvin Blecher is a professor emeritus in physics at Virginia Tech. He said the march was an opportunity to get out and support other scientists.

"It's heartening to see people down here today, but there's a very large crowd of people who aren't here," Blecher said. "Hopefully we reach them in some way to tell them that science is apolitical."

Sally Belcher is a practicing family physician from Rockville, Md.

"Science shouldn't run a separate path from anything. We all live with science whether we study it or not," she said. "If anything it's even more important that the scientific aspect we brought into the political arena because it affects so many people at once."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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