Thousands of San Diegans are expected to march downtown Saturday in support of science.

The goal is to give the area’s scientific community a more accessible public face and make a call for stronger support from policymakers.

The San Diego March for Science is one of hundreds in the U.S. and worldwide. It’s being held in the middle of Earth Day to raise awareness of the contributions of science to society, and the importance of supportive public policy, organizers said.

“We want scientists to come show who they are and what they do, and for all San Diegans to come show what science means to them,” a statement on the event website said. “We believe building trust is prerequisite for our second goal — public policy that both supports and is supported by scientific research.”

Science is just one of many professions caught up in the political turmoil of the times, with the widest split in opinion occurring over climate change. The political influence over science, or lack thereof, has been a hot-button issue on both sides of the aisle.

The event is scheduled to begin with remarks from local scientists at 10 a.m. at the Community Concourse in the Civic Center complex. At 11 a.m., they plan to march to the Waterfront Park outside the County Administration Center.


Among the scheduled speakers are Ralph Keeling, director of the San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography‘s carbon measuring program, Scripps oceanography professor Lynne Talley, and Bianca Mothe, an immunology and virology researcher at Cal State San Marcos.

The march is receiving support from both UC San Diego and Balboa Park’s Fleet Science Center.


“This gathering of scientists, engineers and science enthusiasts will highlight the importance of science in our lives,” said Steve Snyder, CEO of the Fleet Science Center.

“Here in San Diego, science is at the center of our economic, civic and cultural prosperity,” Snyder said. “From blue tech to satellite communications, our industries rely on scientific endeavor and thrive because of it.”

He said solutions to regional problems like water and transportation will come from science.

— City News Service