By Allie Brown

As I walked onto the Seattle Link to get to Capitol Hill for the march, I noticed hundreds of people were joining me. When I got to Capitol Hill, I saw that thousands were. The highly-publicized March for Science took place worldwide on Earth Day this year and even though I am writing this over two weeks later, the Facebook page still has 13,575 members. But who were those marchers and why were they marching? I saw people with all sorts of signs that indicated what the proud bearers were marching for. They included statements such as ‘I’m With Her’ next to a drawing of the world, ‘There Is No Planet B,’ ‘Fund Science Not War,’ and ‘Ice Does Not Have a Political Agenda It Just Melts.’ These signs were related to climate science and science funding, while others I saw stated things like ‘Resist Trump,’ ‘Science Trumps Lies,’ and ‘Socialism Now,’ which were more clearly grounded in anger at the current political situation. The diversity of these messages told me that people were marching for different reasons, even if those reasons ultimately overlap in several ways. Inference from signs aside, I knew the best way to discover people’s purpose and driving force for attendance at the March was simply to ask.

She stands by the light rail station waiting for a fellow marcher and slowly sipping her coffee. Her bright shirt reads “SCIENCE IS NOT A LIBERAL CONSPIRANCY” making me think she’s an extrovert, but her shy look and hesitant agreement to be interviewed reads introvert.

What is your connection to science?

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What is your biggest worry about the state of science awareness right now?

Oh, that we basically will make a mistake that can’t be corrected by denying facts that are really evident.

What do you think this march will accomplish?

Hopefully it will raise awareness and remind people to stay vigilant and keep fighting for real facts.

If you could say one sentence to President Donald Trump what would you say?

Ooh that’s a loaded question. Just one sentence… That’s a surprisingly tough question. I have to think about it. I guess ‘what are you doing?’ I don’t know.

Her bright pink, knitted cap with the ‘March for Science’ logo stands out in the busy crowd and the rest of her attire looks as if she is planning to go hiking right after the march. She is animatedly talking with her friend and her mother who eagerly sneaks in to take a picture of her being interviewed.

What is your connection to science?

Well, I am a software tester and a believer in science. I mean it’s just kind of how my brain works, I have a degree in math and math is kind of the language of science so that’s my connection.

What is your biggest worry about the state of science awareness right now?

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If you could say one sentence to President Donald Trump what would you say?

I think just please take a moment, take a deep breath and really think about all the messages that people are giving you from all countries, all races, all socioeconomic status. Just listen.

Her sign has a sleepy polar bear on it and she is drenched in the rain. She is excited to be asked for an interview and extra excited to be at the march and her smile shows it clearly. Her answers are well thought out and articulate as if she has put a lot of thought into why she is marching.

What is your connection to science?

I was a chemistry major and I have been working in product development with technology based companies for more than 30 years.

Do you have any concerns about perceived messages that this march could send?

Science in general, what I want to make sure people are aware of is that it’s for everyone which was one of the things the speakers emphasized. It’s not just for scientists and it is not necessarily in opposition to religion or faith. That they are compatible and I think it’s important that all the messages around science include those thoughts.

What do you think or hope this march will accomplish?

I hope this march will accomplish engaging a whole new set of people in protecting science and speaking out and it will bolster all of our representatives who are fighting the good fight on behalf of science knowing that we are all very visibly behind them.

All the marchers profiled here in Q&A style interviewing had their reasons for marching. Some more driven by health issues, others by environmental issues, and yet others by social theory. There were those who were more grounded in their reasons for being there and more prepared to defend their positions and others who seemed as if they really didn’t know or could not articulate why they showed up that morning.

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