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Photos: 30+ Beautifully Nerdy Signs From The Chicago Science March

By aaroncynic in News on Apr 22, 2017 8:01PM

Thousands rallied and marched in Grant Park from Jackson Street and Columbus Drive to the Museum Campus for the March For Science Saturday morning.

The Chicago march was one of about 600 taking place worldwide, coinciding with Earth Day, to celebrate science, as well as draw attention to the various attacks certain scientific facts—particularly climate change—have faced in recent months.

“I know I wouldn’t be who I am today without the science that is the beating heart of broad shoulders,” Adam Arcus, one of the organizers of the march, told the crowd. “Today is quite possibly the largest global event in the name of science in all of human history.”

Organizers estimated at least 40,000 people attended the march. Before attendees even began their short jaunt to the Museum Campus, the crowd was so large that the Chicago Police Department Tweeted, and later deleted, the message that people should refrain from attending if they weren’t already present: “Due to large crowds, if you were planning on attending #marchforscience but are not yet downtown to please refrain. Heavily congested area.”

“We really wanted to do something and it feels really good to be out on Earth Day marching with scientists, because science is so important to our everyday life,” said Lolly Extract of the Jabberwocky Marioneetes, who was helping a group of demonstrators carry two life-sized fossil T-Rex’s. The puppets stood about 10 feet high and stretched at least 20 feet in length, and led the march along with a group of middle school children which included 8th grade student Freddie Lopez, who read an essay to the crowd prior to the march.”

“My dream is to come up with the next great idea,” Lopez told the crowd.

Onstage, speakers also mentioned the importance of diversity within the scientific community. “Today I’m those preaching out against a major issue facing science that’s rarely discussed - the rising negative connotation associated with being a scientist,” Gary Cooper,” CEO of Rheaply Inc. “You might assume that scientists by in large are all old, slightly to fully balding, privileged white men who work and reside in ivy league universities and very well to do elite parts of this country.”

“I am a scientist,” added Cooper, who is African American and originally from Dayton, Ohio.

There was a noticeable difference though, between some of the speeches from the stage and signs and attitudes in the crowd. Some of the speeches at times appeared to carefully step around making any direct criticisms of President Donald Trump or others members of his administration, or other politicians in office who have often promoted policy agendas that go against established scientific theories, including climate change. Still, marchers acknowledged the administration’s less than enthusiastic attitudes towards science.

“The government has made cuts to the EPA, has climate deniers in high positions, funding to educational programs has been slashed. If it weren’t for science, we just wouldn’t be here,” said Extract.