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San Diego Scientists Prepare For March To Bolster Science’s Role In Policy

Signs for the San Diego March for Science, in an undated photo

Photo by KPBS Staff

Above: Signs for the San Diego March for Science, in an undated photo

San Diego Scientists Prepare For March To Bolster Science's Role In Policy


Robert Cooper, executive committee, March For Science - San Diego

Lynne Talley, professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography


Scientists from across the country will be demonstrating Saturday in Washington, D.C., and hundreds of other cities, advocating for science's role in public policy and against proposed cuts to federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency.

Robert Cooper, a post-doctoral researcher at UC San Diego and one of the organizers of San Diego's march, said the march will let scientists interact directly with the public and explain their work. The march is also meant to be nonpartisan, despite many individual scientists criticizing policies from the Trump administration.

"Passions have been running high all around recently. But that’s not what this needs to be about," Cooper said. "We all have the same message: science needs to be above and beyond the divisions in the rest of society. That’s the power of science, it’s something we all should agree on."

Some San Diego scientists have said they won't be participating in the march, arguing it will only further politicize the debate over climate change and other scientific research. UC San Diego global politics professor David Victor told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the march, "will signal to the folks who want to cut the federal budget to the bare bones that science is a well-organized interest group.”

One of the speakers at San Diego's march is Lynne Talley, a professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She said she wants to dispel the idea she and her colleagues have a political motive in their scientific research.

"I didn’t have any agenda when I became an oceanographer," Talley said. "I came from an engineering family. The highest value in our family is integrity: facts, telling the truth, explaining your work, what’s your uncertainty, etc."

Cooper and Talley join KPBS Midday Edition on Thursday to discuss the march's goals and what their plans are for future activism.

San Diego March For Science

When: 10 a.m. Saturday, April 22

Where: San Diego Civic Center


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