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San Luis Obispo Science Fans March for Science

March for Science Participants in San Luis Obispo, CA on April 22, 2017
March for Science Participants Saying “Science” in San Luis Obispo, CA on April 22, 2017

Concerned citizens and science fans of all ages turned out for the March for Science in San Luis Obispo, CA on Earth Day, April 22, 2017.

Yesterday, I carried a sign that said “I Heart Science” around downtown San Luis Obispo in support of the March for Science. We were walking between a mother pushing two toddlers in a stroller and some Cal Poly students, one of which was carrying a sign proclaiming that amphibians would be the first to go.

The San Luis Obispo March for Science was a wonderful example of grassroots activism in action!

Although our march received little attention from the local media, 500 to 1,000 people materialized at Emerson Park at 10:00 a.m. carrying signs, wearing lab coats, and sporting a few brain-shaped hats. It was a beautiful site.

It is my understanding that we have Deborah Mendonca, a Templeton science teacher, and Emily Liptow, from the Cal Poly Center for Engineering, Science, and Mathematics Education to thank for spearheading the march.

San Luis Obispo Mayor, Heidi Harmon was on hand to welcome the crowd. Next, Cal Poly science professors Dr. Benjamin Ruttenberg and Dr. Stamatis Vokos talked about science in terms that everyone could understand and pointed out that anyone can be involved in science. They were followed by community activists Roberto Monge with City Repair SLO and Natalie Risner with Protect Price Canyon who shared how science is important to protecting our local communities.

After the speakers, we peacefully walked around downtown San Luis Obispo obeying traffic signals and making room for other people walking on the sidewalks. Many people driving through town honked their horns and shouted encouragement.

Like thousands of the people marching all across the country and even the world, I am an introvert, meaning a reserved, shy person, who would not normally want to draw attention. Yet, give me a sign and I magically transform into an activist.

There were some great signs carried by adults, but my favorites were the signs made by the kids, especially signs quoting The Lorax (my favorite fictional character).

Young Science Fans at March for Science in San Luis Obispo, CA on April 22, 2017
Young Science Fans at March for Science in San Luis Obispo, CA on April 22, 2017

If you could not make it yesterday, you can still get involved. Visit the March for Science website to find out what you can do to promote science-based decision making to address climate change and/or make a sign and join the Peoples Climate Movement March on Saturday, April 29, 2017.

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