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Thousands March for Science in Tallahassee

Jason Frankenfield

A crowd estimated at more than 2,000 marched to the Florida State Capitol on Saturday. It was part of a global Earth Day observance that in the U.S. included a battle against budget cuts to science-based programs and agencies proposed by the Trump Administration.

Organizers said the Earth Day protest in Tallahassee was one of 500 worldwide. The marches especially focused on cuts to programs that deal with climate change, which President Trump has called a “hoax.” But Florida State University professor Jeff Chanton said science is needed to show the evidence for good public policy or against bad public policy.

“Upton Sinclair said, ‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it,’” he told the crowd rallied outside of the Florida Capitol.

Credit Jason Frankenfield

And Bob Henderson, president of the Tallahassee Scientific Society, said the cuts are a threat to science education and the teaching of future scientists, who are sorely needed.

“Curious minds find ways to preserve the natural environment that is part of the web of life. Curious minds find ways to make whole the mentally and physically disabled,” he said during his podium remarks.

According to media reports, most of the Earth Day marches were noteworthy for their signs. In Tallahassee, some read, “Evidence Over Ignorance,” “Science, not Silence and “Make America Think Again.”

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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