Hundreds of scientists gathered over the weekend in Boston’s Copley Square in protest of the Trump administration’s stance on a variety of science-related issues.
The event, coined “Rally to Stand Up for Science,” took place on Feb. 19, and coincided with the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), held in Boston, according to Scientific American.
The rally was sponsored by a number of organizations including the Union of Concerned Scientists, Greenpeace USA and the Mass Sierra Club, as well as several local universities.
Many participants marched while donning white lab coats, holding signs that read phrases like “Stand up for science,” “Science, not silence” and “Climate change is not a controversy.”
Others took to Twitter to describe their experiences, using the hashtag #standupforscience.
According to Phys.org, one of the main tenants of the protest was President Donald Trump’s appointment of former Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pruitt has reportedly expressed doubt in the past about whether climate change is occurring and whether human beings are ultimately to blame.
AAAS was not affiliated with this particular rally but has supported plans for a “March for Science,” scheduled to be held on April 22 in Washington D.C. and other cities including New York City, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
Rush Holt, AAAS CEO, recently explained in an interview with BBC News the fear that exists within the science community regarding the new administration.
“It is partly because of the previous statements of the president and his appointees on issues such as climate change and vaccination for children which have not been in keeping with good science,” Holt said. “But mostly by what we have seen since the new administration has come in, [which] is silence about science.
“Very few appointments to positions are filled by people who understand science, very few comments about the importance of science; there is no science advisor in the White House now and we don’t know whether there will be one,” Holt added. “And so the silence is beginning to sound ominous.”