By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — “Science is unbiased. It seeks truth and the best solutions to our issues as a society. As such, it should play a significant role in our local, state, and national government policy decisions. It is our best tool for moving our world forward and improving lives of people all over the planet. Government funding for scientific programming and research must be maintained, not cut.” — Central Wisconsin March for Science co-organizer Marian Greenburg.
The above quote from Greenburg sets the platform for a local event that hopes to bring awareness to the role that science plays locally and worldwide.
“All of the good things in terms of health care; in terms of increased milk production; in terms of safer wells for our people out in the country; safer drinking water; cleaner, more swimmable rivers; forests and ecosystems that are diverse, all of that is connected to good science that helps enable it,” said Mark T. Nelson, president and CEO of Microscopy Innovations.
“Science brings value, huge benefits to people and society. … Government funding is vital to scientific advancement and needs to be maintained. Private industry is not going to do basic science. … The scientific method and science are designed to discover the facts. It is not a political situation. It is a fact-based method that helps us determine the truth about a situation,” he added.
Nelson, Greenburg, and a group of scientists, farmers, physicians, and those committed to Wisconsin’s resources have organized a science march that will take place in Marshfield April 22, coinciding with Earth Day.
“There are science marches that are being scheduled across the country to take place on April 22, which is Earth Day, so they chose it for obvious reasons,” explained Nelson. “That is one time when we sort of focus on science.”
Marchers are invited to meet in the parking lot of the Everett Roehl Marshfield Public Library on April 22 at 10 a.m. The march will procced from the library to City Hall Plaza and then head north to Veterans Parkway and west to the Oak Avenue Community Center.
At the community center, a rally will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. featuring speakers such as Keith Reopelle, senior policy director for Clean Wisconsin, who is responsible for state and regional policies addressing global warming; Dr. James Weber, founder and CEO of PreventionGenetics; Dr. Barbara Lee, director of the National Farm Medicine Center and senior research scientist at Marshfield Clinic Research Institute; Edward Belongia, director of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Population Health at Marshfield Clinic Research Institute; and other prominent agricultural science and environmental leaders.
The rally will also feature display tables by local organizations and institutions with food and children’s activities available. A Tesla electric car will be on display.
The event will happen rain or shine, and signs and costumes in support of science are encouraged.
“(The purpose of the march) is to bring awareness to science and the importance of science in our society and to celebrate the contributions science makes in our society,” said Nelson.