March for Science 2018

The 2018 March for Science occurred from coast to coast on Saturday, April 14th. Science supporters gathered across the country to celebrate the amazing tool that is science and to call for stronger civic engagement and government support for the institution of science.

Canadians marched, rallied, braved the cold and freezing rain, told and listened to stories, and came out in full force to show their support for science and evidence-based decision making.

Here are recaps of the various events from last month:

Halifax

On the East Coast, a panel discussion was held at the Halifax Central Library on how both Canadians and Haligonians have, can, and will adapt to climate change.

This multidisciplinary panel included:

Alex MacDonald, Climate Change Specialist with the with the Halifax Regional Municipality

Dr. Sara Seck, Associate Professor of Law at Dalhousie University specializing in International Environmental Law and Climate Justice

Dr. Nancy Shackell, Research Scientist at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans specializing in Climate Change Adaptation and Biodiversity

Christine Stortini, a PhD Candidate with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans specializing in ecological impacts of predator depletion and climate change


Montreal

The Montreal March for Science started with the serenading sounds of the Montreal Raging Grannies. Beginning at Place Émilie-Gamelin, participants maneuvered through downtown Montreal before finally arriving at Place des Festivals.

Once the marchers reconvened, speeches were given by:

Cristian Zaelzer of the Convergence Initiative

Maryse Lassonde, Directrice scientifique du Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies

Rackeb Tesfaye of Broad Science

Vanessa Sung and Shawn McGuirk, Co-Presidents of Science & Policy Exchange - Dialogue sciences et politiques

Jessica Ford of STEMM Diversity McGill & Musée Redpath Museum

Alexandra Gellé from Pint of Science Canada

Amy Kim, a Science Educator and Educational Consultant

Rachel Jean-Pierre and Rebecca Woodmass of Lesbians Who Tech Montreal

Nicolas Chevalier from Leap Montreal


Ottawa

Ottawans gathered at the Centennial Flame to kick of the 2018 March for Science.

Science-enthusiasts marched from Parliament Hill to the Byward Market to participate in Evidence for Democracy’s Science in the Market event.

Dozens of science storytellers mingled with citizens to discuss their research interests and personal experiences as a person with a career in and around science. Amongst coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, a variety of storytellers discussed a myriad of different science topics and issues, prompted by questions such as:

How should we encourage high school students to be interested in STEM?

Why does coffee taste different than it smells?

What is the difference between creativity and imagination?


Regina

In Regina, organizers opted for a talk and screening rather than a march. The event, co-hosted with the Centre for Inquiry Saskatchewan at the Saskatchewan Science Centre, drew people to a showing of Natalie Newell’s documentary Science Moms.

The short film depicts the lives of five mothers with careers in science, who are advocates for the use of evidence-based decision making with regard to the health of their children.

Before the lights came down, Dr. Britt Hall, a biologist from the University of Regina, gave an opening speech on the importance of the intersection of science and democracy. Dr. Hall is no stranger to civic engagement in science, she served as the as the Executive Director for the Coalition to Save ELA.


St. John’s

In St. John’s science supporters rallied at Bannerman Park before marching on City Hall. As participants marched downtown along Military Road and Duckworth Street they were welcomed by friendly passerby honking and waving.

The March was preceded the prior evening by a sign-making event on Friday.

The activartists had fun crafting nerdy signs while eating slices of pizza and sipping drinks sold by the Medical Graduate Students Society.

Following the Saturday March a reception with snacks and coffee was held in City Hall.


Toronto

A deluge of freezing rain wasn’t enough to keep Torontonians away from gathering for science.

The rally happened at Nathan Phillips Square and featured a diverse line-up of speakers to reflect on the need for evidence-based policy and safeguarding of scientific integrity both in Canada and around the world.

The speakers, who were moderated by Carol Devine, Humanitarian Affairs Advisor at Médecins Sans Frontières, included:

Marianne Mader, Managing Director of Earth & Space/Fossils & Evolution at the Royal Ontario Museum

Doina Oncel, Founder and CEO of hEr VOLUTION

Artash Nath, award-winning grade 6 student and inventor, whose autonomous Mars rover "Curious Bot" won the top 5 NASA SpaceApps People Choice Award 2014


Vancouver

Gathering at the Science World grounds, Vancouverites once again rallied together for science.

Local and international science-based organizations exhibited at the event to cross disciplinary backgrounds and connect science to society and our everyday lives.

The Vancouver March was made memorable by Vancouver-specific t-shirts and stickers that were available for purchase to raise funds for the local event.


Victoria

Science enthusiasts in Victoria rallied at Centennial Square in the city’s downtown before heading out on their March for Science.

The rally began with seven speakers, including Cheryl Bryce, the Director of Local Services at Songhees Wellness Centre, who spoke about Indigenous value of place and Indigenous history and E. Paul Zehr, a neuroscientist and best-selling author, whose talk “With great power comes great responsibility” discussed the science of superpowers.

Scott McCannell from the Professional Employees Association and citizen scientist and advocate Bob Peart both discussed the cutbacks to government science experienced under the previous Government of British Columbia, and its effect on provincial scientific integrity and decision-making.

The other speakers included:

Rebecca Hof, a University of Victoria research assistant in microbiology and biochemistry

Torrey Archer, Biologist and Land Manage of the Land Conservancy of BC

Christopher Douglas, English Professor at the University of Victoria

After the rally concluded the group marched south along Government Street to the British Columbia Parliament Buildings.


Windsor

Inclement weather unfortunately pushed Windsor’s March indoors, but it wasn’t enough to dissuade the Windsorite science fans.

Activities were held at the Central Branch of the Windsor Public Library including a Science Meet and Mingle, where citizens and scientists grabbed coffee and snack alike and engaged in meaningful conversation, and activities for little future scientists, including working with 3D dinosaur stencils.

Opening speeches were given by teen scientist Tasnia Nabil, who was awarded the 2017 Sanofi Pasteur Biogenius Award, and Drs. Dennis Higgs and Kirsten Poling from the University of Windsor’s Department of Biological Sciences.

 
 

Jeremiah Yarmie

Communications and Outreach Intern

Jeremiah is a science communicator from Winnipeg in Treaty 1 Territory who is fascinated by all of the different ways science intersects with our everyday lives.