Growing up with a father working in construction gives inspiration to a Cleveland cancer researcher.
“Mi papa was an engineer with only a second-grade education,” said Leslie Cuellar Vite, a graduate student at Case Western Reserve University, about her father, a Mexican immigrant. She shared her family’s story with about 10,000 who gathered at the March for Science in downtown Cleveland Saturday. Cuellar Vite sees diversity as crucial to scientific fields.
The organizers of the March, held in 600-plus cities around the globe, agree with Cuellar Vite’s vision of bringing people from different political and social backgrounds together to create a healthier, thriving world with evidence-based research.
Paleontologist Lee Hall from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History created posters featuring Ohio achievements that were given out at the event. This included professor Dayton Miller’s creation of the first medical x-ray in 1896 while working at Case School of Applied Science (now CWRU).
Some participants wore knitted brain hats, or “thinking caps,” a continuation of a trend started at the Women’s March in January.
As the morning drew closer to 11 a.m., when the march officially began, it was difficult to maneuver around everyone packed in Public Square.
While guest speakers spoke about ways science works to help the common good, I thought about personal experiences. My daughter was born healthy thanks to a monitor telling doctors her heart couldn’t handle prolonged labor. My mother benefits from medicine that slows the progression of Multiple Sclerosis. I breathe better air thanks to significant environmental cleanup efforts around Cuyahoga County.
Since we all benefit from science, “it’s too important to get bogged down by partisan politics,” said Patricia Princehouse, co-director of Cleveland’s March.
The most important part of any effective movement or protest is what happens after the crowds have cleared. According to the March on Science national organizers, Saturday’s March was the first step toward “building an organization centered on informed advocacy, community building, and accessible education. We’ll work with Satellites and partners to create new programs and scale existing programs aimed at improving the relationship between science and society.”
- Did you attend the March for Science or support it virtually? Share your images and science stories on social media using the hashtag #NoSidesInScience to help stress the importance of ongoing civic engagement. Support and follow the March for Science Week of Action from April 22-29th to help keep the conversation going.
- Support local science education. Check out the Greater Cleveland STEM Foundation or CWRU’s Institute for Science Origins to find out about upcoming events.
- Defend science. Join Nobel Laureates, prominent scientists, and fellow experts on an open letter to Trump and the 115th congress outlining expectations for the use of science in the current administration. Click here for more info and tweet your senator to protect science-based safeguards.