Photo courtesy of Paul Brennan

On April 22nd, thousands of citizens across Atlanta are scheduled to partake in a 2.2 mile march around Downtown Atlanta to spread knowledge and awareness about science and its advancements to people across the city. This movement was inspired by the Women’s March that took place in November of last year after the presidential election. The main reason for this march is to send a message to Trump’s administration about the importance of science and how facts should not be neglected in important cases that have the potential to impact everyone around the world.

This is one of the biggest grassroots demonstrations for science in American history, and what makes this even more shocking is that a Republican governor is endorsing a march that is aimed towards gaining the attention of a Republican president. It is true that the GOP has not been in the good graces of the public over the last few months, but because of the disapproval of the public along with other important factors, members of the GOP have divided even more in perspectives on what is better for the future of the country. According to their website, the March for Science is aiming to make science less of a partisan issue between politicians and more of a united front that we can all stand behind to further progress in our society.

So why is exactly is it a big deal that Governor Deal has endorsed the March to happen in Atlanta? The reason is that for several decades, there has been a certain sense of party loyalty among both Democrats and Republicans, and usually the ideas proposed by one member of a party should be endorsed by several other members of the party out of loyalty. This mentality has shifted drastically in the past 12 months because more Republicans have strongly disagreed with the goals of President Trump’s administration than any other Republican president in American history. For a governor in a solid red state to endorse a march that is aiming to send a message to the President of his own party speaks volumes on how much Governor Deal and other Republicans feel about the direction that the country is headed in.

The March for Science is designed to be a peaceful protest and does not condone acts of nonviolence in any manner. Their rallies and protests are simply designed to spread their opinions on the importance of science and technology and how it impacts the lives of everyone across the globe. For the march to happen on Earth Day is particularly symbolic because that is the one day of the year that is solely designated for spreading awareness of environmental concerns and dangers that could result if certain resources aren’t conserved or used sparingly. Earth Day has been more focused on protecting the environment and saving natural resources (water, electricity, etc.), but this is the first time where Americans are taking the narrow focus of just environmental concerns and looking at the broad picture of all science disciplines and how they all play important roles in our world today.

As students of Georgia Tech, we can all come to a general consensus that science does not dictate our state of being in the present, but can also be detrimental to what can happen in future generations as well. With Congress’ plans to terminate the Environmental Protection Agency in 2018, it is important now more than ever to voice the concerns that we, as STEM students, can foresee if there is no proper regulation on proper conservation of resources. The March of Science is definitely a way to send a message to Washington about a particular issue, but it is also a way for us to unite and show that science isn’t just important to a particular group of people, but it should be essential to everyone on the planet as well. There’s only one planet Earth; we can either save it or watch it crumble before our eyes.