March for Science returns for a second year

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Farah Qaiser, Policy & Politics co-editor


On Saturday, April 14, scientists and science enthusiasts once again took to the streets to advocate for science and evidence-informed policy.

This year, there were 230+ March for Science satellite events across the world. In Canada, Evidence for Democracy (along with local organizers) arranged events in 10 cities (St. John’s, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Windsor, Winnipeg, Regina, Vancouver and Victoria). Despite the poor weather in many cities, the events went ahead, as organizers, speakers, volunteers, and participants rallied and came out for the #MarchforScience.

Did you miss the March for Science? Well, here’s recap of how different Canadian cities celebrated the occasion.



In Vancouver, participants rallied at Science World, where speakers shared their thoughts on science and its role in everyday life. There were exhibits (featuring local and international science-based organizations), bands and dancing in the warm weather.

Science Borealis’ Environmental & Earth Sciences editor Alina Fisher took a break from the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada conference (#SWCCan2018) to join the Vancouver March for Science.


Women, men and children standing at the science march. One woman is holding a sign that says, "We are a way for the universe to know itself -- Carl Sagan"

Crowd at the Vancouver March for Science. Photo credits: Claudia Ferris.



In Montreal, March for Science participants marched from Place Émilie-Gamelin, on Boulevard de Maisonneuve to Place des Arts. Speakers included representatives from the Montreal Raging Grannies, Lesbians Who Tech, and Pint of Science Canada.

Here’s a video of Science & Policy Exchange presidents Vanessa Sung and Shawn McGuirk (shivering) as they spoke about the #Students4theReport campaign, and the importance of advocating for science.



Here are trainees from McGill University attending the Montreal event.




As one of the Toronto March for Science organizers, I approached the event with trepidation as Environment Canada had already issued a warning for freezing rain. Our event was originally scheduled to have five speakers open the event at Nathan Phillips Square, followed by a March to Queen’s Park, where a final five speakers would close the event.

As the weather worsened, the Toronto March for Science organizing team decided to turn the March for Science into a rally at Nathan Phillips Square. Despite the obstacles, we were very happy to see that ~150 speakers, volunteers and participants braved the weather and came out to celebrate science.


Above view of a crowd holding signs in the square.

The 2018 Toronto March for Science gathering at the Nathan Phillips Square. Photo credit: link.


Science Borealis-syndicated blog, HotPopRobot, attended the Toronto March for Science, where the 11-year-old Artash Nath opened the event with a bilingual speech. Artash focused on why it’s important to continue asking questions, and encouraged participants to join scientific societies, such as the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and the Ontario Science Centre. Here is HotPopRobot’s overview of the event.


A boy and a younger girl standing next to an outdoor podium. An adult man and woman stand nearby.

“Que la force du Pourquoi soit avec toi! May the Force of Why be with you!” – Artash Nath of HotPopRobot, at the Toronto March for Science. Photo credits: Margrit Eichler.




In Ottawa, March for Science organizers decided to start with a short march from Parliament Hill to the Byward Market, followed by a Science in the Market event where dozens of science storytellers talked about their research and personal science journeys.

Here is Olga Pena, a science storyteller from the Ottawa-based Science in the Market event.

And here are Jeremy Grimshaw and Vivian Welch representing The Campbell Collaboration.


In St. John’s, scientists and science enthusiasts marched from Bannerman Park to City Hall, with a follow-up reception in City Hall.

Several dozen people marching with signs saying things like, “Science is for Everyone” “In Science we Trust” and “Science for all.”

St. John’s procession. Credits to Hannah Louise Wallace.


Photo taken from behind the marchers, highlighting a sign saying “March for Science – St. Johns - 2018”

St. John’s procession. Credits to Hannah Louise Wallace.



In Winnipeg, Science First organized a science rally on the front steps of the Manitoba Legislature building. It featured speakers from the University of Manitoba, Water Caucus Manitoba and Climate Change Connection.

Here is event coverage from CBC on Winnipeg’s March for Science.

Person speaking from the front steps of the legislature building. A woman is holding a sign saying “Without science there is just fiction.”
About 40 people gathered at the steps of the Manitoba Legislature on Saturday. Photo credit: CBC.



Due to bad weather conditions, the Windsor March for Science was shifted indoors to the Windsor Public Library, where three opening speakers (a young Sanofi Pasteur Biogenius Award winner, and two University of Windsor professors), were followed by a science meet and activities for children.

In Halifax, organizers opted for a more intimate panel discussion, featuring panellists such as Alex MacDonald, a Climate Change Specialist with the Halifax Regional Municipality, and Dr. Sara Seck, an Associate Professor of Law at Dalhousie University specializing in International Environmental Law and Climate Justice.

In Regina, the 2017 documentary film “Science Moms” was shown at the Saskatchewan Science Centre. It is about mothers who advocate for science-based decision-making concerning the health and nutrition of children.

Last but not least, in Victoria, the March for Science began at Centennial Square, with a short series of speakers from the local community, and ended with a march to the Parliament building.

Did you attend the March for Science? What are your thoughts on advocating for science and evidence-informed policy? If you have pictures to share, be sure to tweet or tag in Science Borealis so we can take a look!



Header credit: Evidence for Democracy.

Disclaimer: this post’s author was the Communications & Press volunteer director for the 2018 Toronto March for Science.

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