Thousands of people gathered in downtown Chicago on Saturday to join the “March for Science” event, one of hundreds of rallies around the world advocating for the scientific community.
Scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in the city’s Grant Park, crowds were so large by 12 p.m. that Chicago police issued a request that anyone planning to attend, but had not yet arrived, refrain from joining the event.
Authorities estimated that more than 40,000 people were in attendance, exceeding organizers' expectations for the rally, which coincided with Earth Day and was one of more than 500 planned worldwide.
Described as “non-partisan” in nature, the mission of the event was in part to “safeguard the scientific process, and research funding” as well as to “publicly celebrate science” and “encourage curiosity and exploration.”
“We stand for evidence-based policies that are built on an ethical approach to science,” reads a description of the event on Facebook. “We promote an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible science that aims to serve all communities. We seeks to utilize that foundation to inspire curiosity, to encourage exploration, and to provide a platform for those seeking to build a better science. This is the time for us to come together as one community, take a stand, and lead a new conversation.”
The event began with a rally, followed by a march at 11 a.m. from S. Columbus Dr and E Jackson Dr in the city’s Loop to the Field Museum, where a science expo began at 12 p.m.