There is a major movement afoot to demonstrate that science is a living endeavor being done by real people here in Miami.
On Earth Day, Apr. 22, scientists, educators, students, and families that support scientific research and evidence-based policies will take a public stand and be counted at the March For Science Miami (MFSM) in Downtown Miami, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
This local march is one of nearly 400 official satellite events taking place across the world in conjunction with a national March For Science in Washington, DC, also set for Apr. 22. The Miami event begins with a rally at Museum Park, 1075 Biscayne Blvd., and culminates following a march through the streets of Downtown Miami with a science expo at the Stephen P. Clark Government Center, 111 NW First St.
The event is open free to the public.
Numerous local associations and organizations are partnering with MFSM including the Women’s March Miami, Miami Waterkeeper, Florida Solar United Neighborhoods, and American Association for Advancement of Science, Sigma Xi, Sink or Swim Project, CLEO Institute and Union of Concerned Scientists.
Organizers of this non-partisan group say the aim of the event is to enable scientists to share their research with the public and for the public to learn that science is not a threat to their politics, religion, or way of life,, but quite the contrary.
Recent policy changes have caused heightened concern among scientists, and the growing outpouring of support has made clear that these concerns also are shared by hundreds of millions of people around the world. Mischaracterization of science as a partisan issue, which has given policymakers permission to reject overwhelming evidence, is a critical and urgent matter.
“This is why we believe it is time for people who support scientific research and evidence-based policies to take a public stand and be counted,” said local youth activist Delaney Reynolds, co-organizer of the MFSM event and founder of the Sink or Swim Project. “We want to take this message to the streets in a celebration of passion for science and a call to support and safeguard the scientific community.”
MFSM’s director of Finance and Legal Affairs, Theresa Pinto, also is deeply inspired by Miami’s participation in this national movement, which she hopes begins a process of building a much-needed bridge between science and the community.
“I left my PhD program at Berkeley many years ago to find a way to bridge the very exciting science I was doing, with the larger community,” Pinto said. “I found the worlds were far apart and the distance was causing a problem because both sides were becoming almost suspicious of each other.
“Today, this is still a very pressing and important issue, and it is obvious to me we are losing our understanding of science and the scientific process, and how important the integrity of that process is to our everyday lives.”
Pinto, MS, presently is a law student and director of education and community engagement with Urban Paradise Guild.
“Science and scientist have never been more important than is the case today, which is why we are so very excited to be hosting the inaugural Miami March For Science on Earth Day,” Reynolds said.
“If you are a scientist or just love and support science, we strongly encourage you and your family to join us in downtown Miami for what will be a fun and exciting event,” she added.
For information about the March For Science Miami, visit www.sciencemarchmiami.org or www.facebook.com/mfsmiami. Also follow the MFSM on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MFSMiami and instagram at www.instagram.com/mfsmiami/.