On April 22 (Earth Day), 3,000 people joined the March for Science, gathering at Nathan Philips Square and marching to Queen’s Park where they heard from a number of speakers representing the breadth of research here in Canada. Speakers talked of the impact of actions in United States, which affect the global scientific community, but also why having a voice for Canadian science and evidence-based policy, at home, is important for scientists and the public they serve. Marchers also heard how the scientific community can do better to represent all perspectives in that voice and why the practice of science cannot be divorced from the people who conduct it or the context in which it sits.
Toronto joined over 600 other rallies and marches around the world to march in support of science. Seeing so many countries around the world stand up for science represents a monumental shift in the relationship between scientists and the public. Science is no longer a pursuit of few but a pillar of our community, a shared source of knowledge and a shared responsibility to guard equal access to it.
The @TorontoPolice wanted to show their support with @OICR_news @ScienceMarchTO #ScienceMarch pic.twitter.com/G3Chub2fyF
— Dr Vicky Forster (@vickyyyf) April 22, 2017
On the day many science faculties, labs and research groups from across Toronto joined the march including staff from OICR. Although the topic was serious the mood of the crowd was playful with many creative scientists sporting signs like “at the start of every disaster movie there’s a scientist being ignored” or chanting “What do we want? Evidence-based science. When do we want it? After Peer Review!”.
Contributed by Elliann Fairbairn, Project Manager, Ontario Molecular Pathology Research Network