Thousands of scientists from USA raise voice against Trump cuts

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Thousands of protesters gather on the National Mall for the March by science in Washington DC, United States, today, 22 April 2017. The organizers of the March sought to draw attention to climate change and budget cuts of President Trump to organizations that help scientific research.

Washington.- With banners, white coats and suits of astronaut, tens of thousands of scientists from different parts of the United States spoke today out to show his disagreement with the scientific research cuts proposed by the President, Donald Trump.

The protest, known as “March by science” and that it coincides with the earth day, held in more than 600 cities around the world, but many eyes focused today on the streets of Washington, where organizers hope to collect up to 75,000 people.

The occasion made tens of thousands of people to leave their labs to go out and discuss the role that science should play in public life, a significant change of course for the scientific community from the USA, used to separate politics from their professional activities.

“This is the first political act in which I participate, this is the first time I come to a demonstration in my life,” he told Efe Carol Trosset, of 57 years.

Trosset traveled from Northfield (Minnesota) to Washington feels “very concerned” about the budget proposed in March by Trump, whereby in Exchange for cuts military spending increases in agencies scientific, such as NASA and the Agency for environmental protection (EPA), responsible for studying climate change.

Congress has the last word in the adoption and modification of the budget, so scientists expect that the marches today will serve to put the lawmakers on his side.

“The current political leadership is ignoring large amounts of scientific evidence. If we act on the basis of opinions and emotions, rather than on the basis of evidence, commit many mistakes. “It is better to know things and science is a process that helps us to know what we know and what not”, argued Trosset.

Biologist and cultural anthropologist, Trosset was dressed in an old white lab coat that belonged to his mother, who devoted much of his life to researching skin cancer.

Between important security measures and despite the rain, the protest was developed in a festive atmosphere in which there were also families with children and groups of young scientists, among which highlighted some students of San Francisco with a few caps of white, blue and green.

“White is ice, the blue sea and green land.” These hats symbolize the ice melting by climate change, something that this Government does not believe that it is real,”he told Efe Nathan Gamarra, referring to the skepticism of Trump, who went on to say that climate change was an”invention”of China.

Gamarra, of 25 years, depends on a grant from the National Science Foundation to pursue his doctorate at the University of California (San Francisco) and ensures that, if Trump cut funds to the Organization, its research project on the molecular structure could be in jeopardy.

Under the motto “Science, not Silence” (“science, not silent”), the organizers insisted that the March should not be understood as a protest against Trump, but as a vindication of the important role that it must play the science in society.

However, many wore placards with messages against Trump, “Science = reality, Trump = lies,” and “Trump listens to the facts, not the alternative ‘facts'”, a few words that criticize what many see as a disregard for the truth of the White House and presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway defined as “alternative facts”.

Trump, for his part, has not at the moment statements about the demonstrations by science, though Yes he commemorated Earth Day with a statement that pledged to protect the environment, but “without harming working families”.

“My Government is committed to the advancement of scientific research to achieve a better understanding of the environment and environmental risks. In doing so, we should remember that the rigorous science depends not ideologies, but rather a spirit of honest research and a solid debate”, said Trump.

The President asked Americans ‘unity’ to celebrate the day of the Earth and “give thanks” to the planet.

Acts in support of the “March by science” are repeated in more than 400 U.S., like Los Angeles and New York cities, where protesters chanted slogans like “Science makes large us again” in reference to Trump campaign slogan: “Let us make United States great again”.

The movement has garnered the support of 220 scientific groups, such as the important American Association for the advancement of science, which promotes scientific cooperation.

 

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