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New Jersey Participates in National March for Science

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TRENTON, NJ - Scientists, supporters of science, and advocates for evidence-based polices will march here on Saturday, April 22 in solidarity with the March for Science in Washington D.C.

It is one of 420 other satellite marches being held simultaneously around the country and the world. 

The march begins outside the War Memorial, 1 Memorial Drive at 10 a.m., and after hearing from speakers, the crowd will proceed to the steps of the Statehouse one-half mile away.

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Expected to participate is a diverse coalition of scientists, environmentalists, medical professionals, primary and secondary school educators, religious leaders, and members of the public who consider themselves advocates for science.

Participants are motivated by many concerns, from climate change to medical research to education to human rights. They are united by a common belief that science can be a powerful tool to improve the nation and the lives of the people living in it. Participants will use their collective voice to advocate for the continued use of scientific evidence in how our government makes decisions; for the education of the next generation of scientists, and for the protection of the rights of free expression and movement enjoyed by all Americans and which have supported the nation's scientific community, according to organizers.

 "America respects science," said Matthew Buckley, professor of physics at Rutgers University and founder of the New Jersey March for Science. "People know that science can improve our lives and help solve the problems that face us. Right now, we see our leaders turning away from the scientific evidence and harming America's ability to do science. We're here to make sure that doesn't happen. You don't have to be a scientist to march for science: you just need to appreciate what science has taught us and can do for us, and to want to see that continue." 

Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club and member of the organizing committee also urged people to participate.

 “We need to march and stand up for science. Climate change is real, is happening every day, and people are being impacted. This is not a reality show, this is real. When you cut lead funding children will be poisoned, when you roll back protections for clean air our air will be poisoned, and when you don’t clean up Superfund sites communities will be poisoned,” Tittel said.

"For people in the real world that send their kids to school, they want to make sure their kids are drinking clean water and they are not suffering from asthma attacks as a result of power plants in Pennsylvania. You can’t have alternative facts and you definitely cannot have alternative science," he added. 

 Azra Baig, community activist, nurse, and member of the South Brunswick Board of Education added  "Science plays a role in everyone’s daily lives. As a supporter of education, as a nurse, and as a person of faith who believes in the responsibility to protect and preserve Planet Earth for our children’s future and beyond, I believe we need to advocate for science by supporting evidence based policy making, by supporting scientific research, and by speaking up." 

Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey said science should guide public policy.

"The scientific process informs our work on environmental protection and expanding public health – but it is under threat. In an era of fake news and a polarized country, science should not become a hostage in the political process," O'Malley said. "We march to support our scientists, the concept of scientific inquiry and trusting science to guide our environmental policies. Standing up for science should not be a radical concept, but we need the public to join us. These are extraordinary times, and we need everybody to join us to support science that creates the foundation of our society.” 

Environmental issues and climate change are top concerns for participants, as well as opposition to proposed funding cuts for research and education.

For more information about the New Jersey March for Science, visit its website.

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