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MARCHES FOR SCIENCE took place yesterday, Earth Day, April 22, 2017. They started in New Zealand and Australia and ran through time zones around the world. In Berlin, a March for Science attracted several thousand people walking from one of the city’s universities to the Brandenburg Gate. In Paris, signs read ”Nous sommes la résistance contre la menace de Washington.” And in Washington, D.C., thousands more attended a March for Science on the National Mall.
In my Pacific time zone, thousands more were in downtown Los Angeles. And in Pasadena, at the event reflecting the proximity of CalTech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, one of the marchers’ chants was “What do we want! Research! When do we want it? After peer review!”
And, here in Orange County, the Orange County Register reported that 1000 of us assembled at Fullerton’s City Hall, cheered the speakers and marched for a modest 0.6 mile. Other crowd counts go as high as 2000. It sure seemed like the latter.
I am proud to say “us” because I made a statement in support of science that reflected my own views.
The front of my sign shared my opinions of science and alternative fact. The other side displayed a real fact, what’s often considered the most beautiful equation in mathematics, Euler’s Identity. I included his picture as well.
Euler’s Identity concisely relates four numbers important to science and mathematics: e, the transcendental base of natural logarithms; i, the imaginary unit of the complex plane; π, relating a circle’s diameter to its circumference; and -1, the negative integer.
Homemade signs were in abundance, many kids carrying signs of their own creation. In fact, it was heartwarming to see so many people marching with their kids along.
Many of the signs were thoughtful: “I don’t have polio. Thanks, Science.” Others were witty indeed: “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re a precipitate.”
I learned a lot from other marchers, all of us in a chatty, celebratory spirit. Nancy, for instance, is a musician, a trombonist who took part because several of her friends are scientists. Our chat turned to SimanaitisSays (imagine that!) and I told Nancy about the website’s mention of motets of Lassus.
“You’ll know this one,” Nancy said, “It’s called Lassus Trombone.“ And, sure enough, I recognized it.
A chat with another marcher took a serious turn. “I spent the first part of my life being apolitical,” she said. “But, you remember how the smog here used to burn our eyes? Science fixed that, yet these people in Washington are now trying to undo all these good works. We can’t let that happen.” ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2017