Fourteen hours of travel to and from Washington, D.C., did not deter 30 Hamilton students from participating in the 2018 March for Science on Saturday, April 14. The trip was organized by the Hamilton Environmental Action Group (HEAG), in celebration of “Green Week” in the days leading up to Earth Day.
Having departed just after midnight, the students arrived seven hours later at the National Mall where they participated in a variety of teach-ins created by the march organizers. The sessions included educational lectures and hands-on activities from organizations such as the Nature Conservancy and the American Chemical Society.
Just before the march began, students joined in a rally featuring a variety of speakers and a musical performance by The Suffers. Speakers included leaders in science advocacy, including Dr. Rush Holt, the CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Dr. Sheila Jasanoff, Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Harvard University.
The march began in front of the White House and ended at the Capitol. Hamilton students were able to lead the march, helping to hold the official March for Science banner. Erin Bryant ‘21 says of her experience, “There was a point where I was holding my sign at the very front of the march, and I looked out at the street. Suddenly, I felt the historic significance of the moment.”
Hamilton students participated in the march advocating for a variety of purposes. Signs creatively crafted by the students spread messages advocating for diversity in STEM fields, for the acceptance of science in policy making, and for the overall promotion of scientific study.
This was the second March for Science, and it had a lower turnout than in 2017; however, there was a notable increase in satellite marches.
Mian Osumi ‘21 commented, “While I think the turnout was less, the people there were more passionate and more organized than ever before, and it gave me faith that the environmental cause is a popular movement, as it should be since it affects all of us.” Referencing Hamilton’s participation, she added, “Hamilton students were there not because it was the cool thing to do, but because it was the right thing to do, and I think that's really special.”