Detroit —Thousands of science supporters converged upon Hart Plaza Saturday to participate in the first-ever global March for Science.
They cheered on speakers and held protest signs including “Climate change is real, there is no planet B,” “Science is understood, not believed,” “Got the plague? Me neither. thanks science,” and even, “God bless the press.”
According to its website, the March for Science is “the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments.”
With marches planned at more than 600 locations across the world, the March for Science’s goal is to be an historic and global grassroots movement of people from diverse backgrounds concerned that, as the website says, science is under attack.
“It is the first time that people around the world are coming together to stand up for sound, evidence-based science that helps everyone—policymakers, parents, CEOs, doctors, students—make better decisions that improve lives,” it says.
One of those doctors who came to Hart Plaza was Jane Perrin of Beverly Hills.
She is an 86-year-old retired pediatrician and physical medicine and rehabilatation physician.
She sat on the plaza during the speeches, and held one of the protest signs brought by her son Eugene Perrin’s companion, Suzanne Dhiman of Cincinnati. One sign read, “Mother Nature, forgive us.”
Asked why she felt is was important to show up Saturday, she began by talking about her deceased husband, also named Eugene.
“My husband, who is deceased, was a scientist and professor at Wayne State University,” she said. “We as a family have always concluded that the basis for reason and decision has to be founded on science, and I am very, very disappointed in the current administration.”
Dhiman said she was inspired to attend the march after attending the Women’s March in Washington D.C. earlier in the year.
“I knew this is the direction we have to take,” she said. “Peaceful protest and resistance is everything.”
Also in the crowd was two-year-old Louisa Pietrowsky, with her parents Andrea and Tom, and six-year-old brother Sam, all from Grosse Pointe Woods.
Louisa recently was weaned off of a ventilator after spending 232 consecutive days in Mott Hospital right after her birth. Her mother said she was born with a congenital heart defect, hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), and underwent three open heart surgeries.
She said they attended the march, in part, to celebrate her daughter’s life.
“Whatever religious or philosophical leanings you have, you cannot dispute that science is a large part of why she’s here with us today,” said Louisa’s mom. “She’s such a happy child. You’d never know what she’s been through.”
Meanwhile, on the stage among the speakers was Flint clean water advocate Melissa Mays.
“We need your help more than ever,” she told the crowd. “Because of science, we know what’s in our water. There are words I can’t even spell, but I know them now because of science.”
Following the speeches, the marchers peacefully marched down Woodward in the direction of Grand Circus Park.