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Rally for Science brings science advocacy to Tucson

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Selena Quintanilla and [SelenahQ] | The Daily Wildcat

UA Lab workers pose with their posters for the March for Science Rally at El Presidio Park on April 22. The marches for science and climate change are a platform for scientists to speak against Trump's stance on science.

Scientists and scholars will come together in support of science throughout Southern Arizona at the 2019 Rally for Science. The rally will take place at Reid Park on Saturday, April 13, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Activities at the rally will include 20 interactive booths hosted by a diverse set of science-related organizations with the goal of showing how the Southern Arizona community can get involved in science. 

A group of four science professionals will also give speeches on a variety of topics, including Tucson City Council member Steve Kozachik speaking on science advocacy at the local level, and the Daily Wildcat’s own Randall Eck talking about the intersections of science and journalism.

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The Rally for Science is organized by non-profit organization March for Science Southern Arizona. The group originally formed as a satellite branch for the international March for Science movement but has since expanded and holds several of events throughout the year in the region.

“We are trying to get our communities and our elected officials to recognize the importance of science to society and reinforcing science's role in policy making,” said Josh Hoskinson, CEO of March for Science Southern Arizona. “Through this event, we aim to bring our southern Arizona community together to raise a unified voice in support of science.”

Zach Grochau-Wright, UA graduate student in ecology and evolutionary biology, works within March for Science Southern Arizona along with several other UA students, staff and faculty. 

“Every [science] department and program has their own outreach people who go and give talks or write letters to policymakers,” Grochau-Wright said. “And the rally is a good place where we can all get together and meet so we can increase our ability to reach the public and policymakers.”

March for Science Southern Arizona also organizes Brews and Brains, a weekly trivia and speaker series on controversial or hot-button topics aimed towards increasing science literacy in the community.

“I’ve had the opportunity to give public presentations, which was professional development for me,” Grochau-Wright said. “Having a chance to engage with the community is something I’ve been really lucky to have as part of March for Science.”

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According to Hoskinson, attendance for the Rally for Science has stagnated, but March for Science Southern Arizona has not given up on their advocacy efforts.

“There's so many different actions that are being taken at the local, state and federal levels, that there seems to be a feeling of hopelessness and exhaustion,” Hoskinson said. “It is a strategy of those interested in anti-science initiatives to exhaust the pro-science crowd to the point of exhaustion. However if we are resilient and consistent with our message, we can persevere.”

More information on the 2019 Rally for Science and March for Science Southern Arizona can be found on its website.


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