LETHBRIDGE – About two dozen demonstrators from a variety of faculties took part in the local version of the “March for Science” on the grounds of the University of Lethbridge this afternoon (April 22).
With signs reading “Science, not Silence”’ and cars driving by honking support, the small group highlighted the need to keep the information gates open, and not to stifle studies conducted by independent scientists.
Kayleigh Nielson is a graduate student in the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the U of L and says what they organized was a solidarity gathering in support of the main “March for Science” in Washington D.C.
“The purpose of this is much like the Women’s March…to sort of stand up as a community and say ‘hey, we’re not ok with the policies put forth by the U.S. administration'…basically muzzling scientists or reducing our capacity to do research.”
Nielson also insisted it was not a partisan gathering.
“We’re not here to say we’re not ok with this group or that group, we’re just here to say we’re not ok with evidence being ignored, with research being ignored and de-funded to the point where it can’t even be done.”
She says while many scientists are now getting a little bit of breathing room to speak in Canada, it’s still a battle for money to do their research.
“I think everyone who has worked in academia knows that it can be a struggle to get funding sometimes, even at a time when there isn’t an active defamation of science. And we did experience that under the previous Conservative government.”
She explained that many scientists and researchers have extraordinary ideas and theories they believe could change fundamental ways of seeing, thinking or gathering information, but have been silenced.
More than 600 Marches for Science took place across Canada and around the world, including Vancouver, Ottawa, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, Japan, and South Africa, to coincide with Earth Day.
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