A few thousand marchers rallied in the sun at the Capitol Saturday in support of science and the funding of research of all sorts, ranging from cancer studies to climate science. The March for Science contingent of highly intelligent and rational Utahns was a welcome change from the another assembly that regularly gathers on the Hill to operate in a vacuum of facts.
UofU super star and Nobel Prize-winner Mario Capecchi lauded the accomplishments of his colleagues in all fields.
Cowgirl, rancher and citizen scientist Heidi Redd brought science down to earth by describing how important it has been to ranching. Her Dugout Ranch in Bears Ears National Monument is home to a climate-science research center. “The cowboys learn from the scientists,” Redd said, explaining that climate change is already affecting the cattle industry.
Though nothing can be separated from the politics of Donald Trump, who has said climate change is a hoax and has politicized science funding in many fields, the rally organizers tried to focus on thanking the people with the really big heads who get stuff done and encouraging the next generation of scientists.
An awkward moment came, however, when Brigham Daniels, a law professor at Brigham Young University, offered a bridge between science and religion. He told the crowd that he believes the science-trained cancer doctors who treated his wife were the answer to his fervent prayers. The moment of unity was broken when a group within the crowd began chanting, “Facts, not faith!”
Other Utah rallies were held in St. George, Logan, Moab, Park City and around the world.