March for Science nonpartisan event planned for Saturday in downtown Sarasota

Mission is to champion ‘robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity’

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A March for Science has been planned from 10:30 a.m. to about 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, in downtown Sarasota, organizers have announced.

The nonpartisan event will start at Five Points Park and end at J.D. Hamel Park, “with water, rest, and shade stations along the way,” a news release says, adding, “Everyone is free to join where and when they are able to.”

“The March for Science will be a coordinated set of events,” the release explains. It will feature speakers and community engagement activities, the release notes. “[W]e are encouraging participating organizations to bring direct actions for marchers to take after the [event], so that the energy created from the march is not wasted on a single day,” the release adds.

Volunteers are needed for water stations and set-up and to serve as safety marshals, the release points out as well.

As of April 19, the release continues, the speakers set to address the participants are Bear Mancinni, a Sarasota seventh-grader; Meg Lowman, a tree canopy ecologist; Dr. Suzie Prabhakaran, vice president of medical affairs for Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida; and Karen Sulprizio, a third-generation member of The Planetary Society.

The event’s mission statement says, “The March for Science champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policymakers to enact evidence-based policies in the public interest.”

The release adds, “The mischaracterization of science as a partisan issue, which has given policymakers permission to reject overwhelming evidence, is a critical and urgent matter. It is time for people who support scientific research and evidence-based policies to take a public stand and be counted.”

The organizers note in the release that their event has goals similar to those of the March for Science planned in Washington D.C.: “[W]e want to emphasize the crucial role science plays in driving Florida’s economic growth, preserving Florida’s natural environment, and protecting the health of Florida’s citizens.”

The release adds that the Sarasota march has received “the full endorsement” of the Sierra Club of Manatee-Sarasota, the Sarasota Climate Justice Coalition, Stand Up Fight Back SRQ, and the Tampa Bay American Chemical Society.

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