Science march planned for Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Some scientists feel like they’re under attack.

And given what a key role their work plays in our local economy, many of them plan to be at Moore Square this weekend fighting back.

Wayne Holden is CEO at RTI International, where company researchers are studying topics including biofuels and ways to cut power plant carbon emissions.

He’s concerned President Donald Trump’s budget proposal will impact the company.

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“I think what’s happening is there will be less resources going into important priorities in the United States,” he said.

The president’s budget cuts funding for the National Institutes of Health by about 19 percent and the EPA by about a third.

Much of the money given to those agencies eventually ends up as funding for research at RTI and other organizations in Research Triangle Park.

“This is a hard-power budget,” said White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. “There’s no question about it. It’s what the president wanted.”

Among those fighting that this weekend will be Amanda Van Swearingen and Andrew Blum. The two are among the organizers of the Raleigh March for Science.

“It’s that the institution of science is under attack,” Blum said. “I would even say the scientific method is under attack.”

“There’s a difference between differences of opinion and negating the facts, and that’s when it gets dangerous,” Van Swearingen said.

They hope bringing scientists and the community together in a big way will start to shift the conversation about science.

Saturday’s march will end at Moore Square. More than 2,000 people have signed up for the event. More information is available here.

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