by Connie Oswald Stofko
We might not think about it a lot, but so much in gardening has to do with science. Whether it’s basic botany or soil testing or research on plant diseases or the new weather patterns we’re experiencing due to climate change, we depend on science in gardening. Yet talking about science has become something of a hot-button political issue.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
“You can care about this without being political,” said Elizabeth Schiavoni, public relations chair for the Buffalo March for Science.
If you support science and want to stick up for our planet, you can participate in the Buffalo March for Science on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22. You don’t have to be a scientist and you don’t have to be political. Anyone who values science is encouraged to attend.
The Buffalo March for Science will start at 1 p.m. at Soldier’s Circle (intersection of Lincoln, Chapin and Bidwell Parkways) and will follow Lincoln Parkway to a rally and science festival in Delaware Park. See a map under the FAQ. At the park, there will be several speakers, and groups can set up tables to hand out information.
The event will be an opportunity to learn about the next steps you and local groups can take to protect the environment, science education, health and science funding in Western New York.
The event is not an end in itself, but the start of activities to get people talking in a nonpartisan way about science, said Schiavoni, who is also the owner of Life Science Writing Solutions LLC is on the board of directors of the nonprofit Buffalo Women in STEMM. Planning is under way for a series of talks for adults on science topics. The talks will be free from the politics you often hear when science is discussed on the news. The first topic will be vaccinations.
Groups and individuals can participate in the Buffalo March for Science at whatever level they wish, Schiavoni said. You can just watch the march and listen to the speakers. You can walk in the march and get creative by making a sign that expresses why science is important to you. Or you can organize your group and have a table where you hand out information (you have to take your own table). Sign up for table space here.
Master Gardeners, garden clubs, plant groups and other individuals who appreciate our environment might want to participate. I’m planning on being there. Contact me if you’d like to meet up for the march.
Groups already participating include the Western New York Chapter of the American Meteorological Society; Science Teacher’s Association of New York State; Citizen Science Community Resources, a grassroots organization in Western New York dedicated to science-based activism; EMERGE magazine, a student-run bimonthly publication at the University at Buffalo on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) topics, and Buffalo State College Informed Students Addressing Climate Change Club. See all the groups here.
You can also show your support by buying a T-shirt.
The Buffalo March for Science is being held in spirit with the Scientists’ March on Washington movement.