Palmerston North campaigners to march for science

More than 500 events are planned to take place worldwide this Saturday under the March for Science banner, including one ...
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More than 500 events are planned to take place worldwide this Saturday under the March for Science banner, including one in Palmerston North.

Good science helps us understand our world and is worth fighting for, March for Science campaigners say.

The Palmerston North event is among more than 500 marches organised this Saturday around the world. The local event will be among the first, and could be one of the smallest, organiser and lab manager Erin Willson said.

Marches are also planned in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch.

"We live in this little hub of science, in Palmerston North, which is why we needed to have our own march here."

The movement aims to speak up for the importance of the scientific method of discovery and analysis, and rigorous information and expertise.

"We live in this awesome world thanks to science. We have endless information at our fingertips and that's really awesome, but we're also exposed to a lot of misinformation.

"The only way I really see through this problem is through science and critical thought, and thinking about that any time you're reading anything on the internet."

The global movement was spurred by the United States Trump administration's contentious approach to issues like climate change and non-renewable energy sources, but the issues apply in New Zealand too, she said.

"Evidence should inform the policy, not the other way around. In New Zealand, it's fresh water, climate change, earthquake resilience, resources – these are issues that depend on science and knowledge to protect New Zealand and the New Zealand public."

The event starts at 11am, with speakers on the Plaza side of The Square. At 11.20 the group will march to Te Manawa to hear more speakers and share a sausage sizzle.

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Speakers include Wilson talking about using the scientific method, professor Russell Death speaking about science for a healthy planet and Becca Leung speaking about how science allows us to keep an open mind.

The march will be family friendly, Willson said, with science-themed Palmy Rocks hidden in The Square for children and marchers invited to be creative with placards.

More information can be found on the March for Science Palmerston North Facebook page.

 - Stuff

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