Two thousand people March for Science in Anchorage

Participants at the March for Science in Anchorage on April 22, 2017 listened to speakers. (Hillman/Alaska Public Media)

About 2,000 people participated in the March for Science in Anchorage on Saturday. Participants carried signs talking about scientific contributions to medicine, such as “Got the Plague?! Ya, me neither! Thank a scientist!” Other signs addressed the impacts of climate change saying “There is no Planet B” and “The oceans are rising and so are we.”

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Chris Blake is a mental health clinician who said he uses science every day when diagnosing people and developing treatment plans. But his reason for marching is much more personal.

“I’m a cancer survivor and I truly believe that science saved my life,” Blake said. “If it hadn’t been for chemotherapy and doctors that knew what they were doing and surgery and meds, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Marcher Heather Doncaster poses with her sign at the March for Science in Anchorage on April 22, 2017. (Hillman/Alaska Public Media)

Teacher Heather Doncaster’s sign read “My 6th grade science students know more science than the entire White House.”

“Science is not really accepted in our current administration,” she said. “And it’s not political, it’s strictly accepting science. And it’s scary that people in power don’t accept actual evidence.”

She said she thinks her students are getting mixed messages about science and its validity through social media that are causing them to doubt what they are being taught in school.

Rebecca Larue and her mom, Sherri, said they attended the march because science is part of everyday life.

Without science, “I think we’d still be living in a cave because we wouldn’t have fire or the wheel,” Rebecca said.

“Sometimes we think that stuff isn’t science, but it is,” Sherri added.

Signs at the March for Science in Anchorage on April 22, 2017. (Hillman/Alaska Public)

Other marchers talked about the need for science to be the basis for policy making, and the importance of funding scientific research.