On April 22, 2017, the March for Science swept the nation with parades occurring all around America, including Trenton, NJ, in response to President Trump’s budget cuts regarding science research. The event was received with an overwhelming sense of positivity, shown in its high participatory rates. Tens of thousands of people all organized protests in major cities, Washington D.C. being the main attraction, to peacefully enforce the value of science in society. However, the most clever and effective part of this whole endeavor was the timing- Earth Day was also April 22.
Having the event on Earth Day was strategic in many ways. First, it provided the march with an appropriate date to work with considering Earth Day was on a weekend, allowing them to capitalize the attendance rates and bring in the most people possible. Also, if people wanted to fly in or travel to one of the locations to march, they could do so as the weekend would give them the time they needed to travel there and back and still be at work that Monday.
Secondly, Earth Day closely correlates to science and environmental conservation, which enabled the marchers to create a specific occasion around their event. This, in turn, would increase the publicity and buzz around the science march as a whole because it was almost like killing two birds with one stone. The science march exploited the nationally acknowledged holiday, Earth Day, in order to validate the entirety of the protests. Holding the march on Earth Day ingeniously reminded the public of the importance of science in protecting the Earth.
Creating this event around Earth Day was almost ironic in a sense, however, because it revealed the pervasive hypocrisy of America. It would seem contradictory to celebrate the beauty of the Earth one day, but then support the defunding of environmental research and developments the next. By combining the events of Earth Day and the science march, it deflected the idea of hypocritically supporting the idea of decreased spending on science as people would be more likely to do so if a day dedicated to the environment and science was in close proximity to the science march.
In a way, utilizing Earth Day as a mechanism to attract, interest, and remind people was the most tactful aspect of the science march because it provided them a convenient tool that heightened the event’s urgency and relevance. As a fellow student at Morristown said, “It was the perfect way to spread awareness…”. It was almost the essential ingredient to the formula of success: finding and exposing the merits of an occasion. Just another reason why we need science…