The Advance-Titan

March for Science to raise awareness about environmental issues on Earth Day

March for Science is coming to University of Wisconsin Oshkosh on Earth Day, April 22 for its first year to raise awareness of the importance of science.

UWO religious studies professor Laura Hartman said the Student Environmental Action Coalition was contacted by the organizers of the event to have UWO spread the word of the importance of science.

“SEAC is not a science club, and I think students were captivated by the idea,” Hartman said. “They always wanted to be involved in the community as students who are interested in environmental issues.”

Hartman said we only know about environmental issues because scientists tell us.

“A lot of people think that if you do environmental science, you are a scientist,” Hartman said. “But there’s room for a whole bunch of us who aren’t scientists at all but who recognize the value of science and who are deeply influenced by science.”

Senior environmental science major Jonathon Buchinger said he was inspired to participate in the March for Science and gave his idea to the club SEAC.

“I pushed for the idea of the March for Science in SEAC,” Buchinger said. “It kind of is the campus connection to the whole march.”

Hartman said there is a huge role for science in environmental studies as well.

“It is important because it helps us to understand our world, understand our problems and solutions,” Hartman said.

UWO genetics professor Lisa Dorn said science is what advanced our civilization.

“Every advancement comes from someone who recognized the realities of our world or with scientific fashion,” Dorn said. “Things like your car, your smartphone or medicine, none of that is possible without science.”

Dorn said the reason why the march was organized on Earth Day was because of skeptics of climate change.

“There is some symbolism having it be on Earth Day because much of the concern is because of the persistent denial of climate change science,” Dorn said.

Buchinger said because he is an environmental studies major, everything comes through the lens of environmentalism.

“For me, having the march on Earth Day says that we care about science and also the climate change that is affecting our Earth,” Buchinger said.

Buchinger said the March for Science proves there are people who care about science, and one of the reasons is because of climate change.

“It is saying yeah, we care about science, and [science] is kind of a link to how we look at the world and what is going on,” Buchinger said. “It is important because it is a statement of everyone that is involved saying ‘here I am, I am the member of the community,’ and science should be part of the community.”

Buchinger said science is an important part of the campus and community.

“Science is what drives us forward, and drives humanity forward,” Buchinger said. “It can’t be tainted because it is based in fact. It doesn’t leave room for opinion to sway it.”

Dorn said bringing awareness to the campus is important.

“We wanted to show the people of Oshkosh that we are here and we are not a threat,” Dorn said. “It is not always clear that people understand that or it is easy to ignore.”

Hartman said the march is intended to inform others of the value of science.

“If there is a threat to funding or a threat to credibility for science, those threats should be answered with assertion of the importance of science,” Hartman said.

Hartman said the March for Science is more of a celebration of science.

“It is a way that is non confrontational, but simply celebratory,” Hartman said. “I see this march as a celebration of what science has done for us. I am here for medical science I am here because of all these amazing sciences.”

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
March for Science to raise awareness about environmental issues on Earth Day