The marches, which coincided with the annual Earth Day celebration, have sparked debate within the scientific community over whether scientists should be actively engaged in political actions. Organizers for the marches say the event is nonpartisan—there is no mention of Trump on its website—but assert silence is no longer an option amid the threats posed by Trump and many of his advisers.
1:30 pm ET Trump releases the following statement honoring Earth Day. While there was no direct mention of March for Science, the statement claimed "rigorous science" is essential to the president's agenda.
1:05 pm ET While climate is the overwhelming topic of the day, many participants are also hoping to highlight other scientific issues at stake in the Trump era, including federal funding for medical research and the Flint water crisis:
Mike Khan is a microbiologist at Washington State University. He said scientists are looking at issues like global warming and realizing they need to speak out publicly about the problem. "Science says we are going in some awfully bad places, and a lot of politicians are not willing to accept that," he said. "I'm out here in the rain because I think that's a problem."
Dr. Laura Anderko studies the effects of mold, pesticides, lead, climate change, and other environmental hazards on children's health, but says her funding is threatened. "Everything that we've done to save humanity goes back to science: clean water, clean air, all of that," she said.
12:08 pm ET Despite the rain, many are still lining up in DC. The official march doesn't kick off for another two hours:
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