Rowan students among crowd during March for Science in Philadelphia

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Since the election of Donald Trump, marches and rallies have been occurring all over the country. The day after the Trump’s inauguration, a march for women’s rights took place in Philadelphia and across the country and last weekend a “Tax March,” aiming to pressure Trump to release his tax returns.

This past weekend brought another; the March for Science. The demonstration and rally were one of many across the country showing support for scientific literacy and funding. Thousands of people showed up in Philadelphia to demonstrate and march.

Elise Fulginiti was one of those marchers. She graduated from Rowan in 2008 as a collaborative education major.

“I’m here today to support science and support science research,” she said.

Fulginiti added that while she doesn’t work as a science teacher, it was troubling for her to see that President Trump was cutting funding to the sciences in schools and other areas.

Protesters in the streets. The march in Philadelphia took place on April 22. -Staff Photo/Matt Kass

The march began at City Hall and made its way through the streets of the city toward Penn’s Landing. Although rain was in the forecast, marchers showed little sign of stopping as they made their way down Market Street. Chants of “Science saves lives!” and a familiar call and response refrain of “Show me what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like!” were heard along the route.

Many marchers were out at the event because they felt very strongly about scientific literacy.

“I went suddenly deaf in my right ear and they have the technology now to fix that,” Liza Connolly Said. “50 years ago it was unthinkable but now I have electronic hearing.”

One of those marchers had a large debt she owed to the sciences. Liza Connolly grew up in nearby Cherry Hill but currently lives in Baltimore. She recently went deaf in one ear but can hear again thanks to a cochlear implant she got several months ago.

“I went suddenly deaf in my right ear and they have the technology now to fix that. It used to be science fiction,” Connolly said. “50 years ago it was unthinkable but now I have electronic hearing.”

She added that it frustrated her that the current administration was cutting back on scientific research.

“I think it’s very important to keep funding things like the NIH and the EPA,” She said.

Protestors walking down the stairs of Penn’s Landing. The march in Philadelphia took place on April 22nd. -Staff Photo/Matt Kass

Rowan student and junior mechanical engineer Daniel Ashton was one of many current college students at the event from schools all around the area. When asked why he came to the March for Science, he said the reason was simple.

“At the end of the day, I like to think of engineers as people who take real science and apply it to make something out of it,” Ashton said. “So we need all the information we can get. The idea for me at least is, free speech is really important to science. We need scientific literacy to be able to spread the research that we do to make the world a better place.”

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