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Leaders amplifIED the role of science in North Carolina

RALEIGH, NC – Scientists, families and community activists gathered at Halifax Mall for the Raleigh March for Science on April 14th heard from a dozen leaders on the importance of using science to tackle critical issues.  Speakers ranged from a public health leader discussing gun violence research to a prominent research biologist addressing the human impact on biodiversity.

The rally focused on the pivotal role that evidence-based science plays in protecting North Carolina’s natural resources and serving marginalized communities. Speakers sent a strong message that science must be accessible to people from all backgrounds.  The program emcee was science comedian Brian Malow.

Marshall Brain, nationally recognized speaker and author, Director of NC State University’s Engineering Entrepreneurs Program and founder of HowStuffWorks, was the first speaker.  “Medicines, microwaves, air conditioning, skyscrapers, smart phones, the Internet... Science enhances everyone's lives in a thousand ways every day!"

Other speakers and performers, in order of appearance: 

  • Rev. Nancy Petty - Pullen Memorial Baptist Church - intersection of faith/religion and science
  • Katie Mack - NC State University - communicating science in society
  • Bronwyn Lucas, MPH - MomsRising - gun violence through lens of public health
  • Marty and Kevin Long - musical performance
  • Ames Simmons - Equality NC - science, not silence re: stigmatized communities
  • Sarahn M. Wheeler, MD - Duke Health - disparities in health outcomes among marginalized communities
  • Dr. Hongbin Gu - UNC School of Medicine, Town of Chapel Hill - scientists in public office
  • Lacy Wilder - Enloe High School - musical performance
  • Luke Dollar - Catawba College - the human impact on biodiversity
  • ACE Action Fellows - Alliance for Climate Education - youth activism in the climate movement
  • Jamie Vernon - Sigma Xi - importance of STEM education
  • Marty and Kevin Long - reprise

Organizers aimed to amplify the role of science in the region and to strengthen the network of science advocates. In addition to the rally, the event included a Kids’ March, voter registration, information tables where attendees can connect with advocacy organizations, and a Kids for Science Corner.  The weather was beautiful and organizers were pleased to welcome an estimated crowd of 500-600 people throughout the morning event.