News Archive

Marching for Science

April 18, 2018

On April 14, 2018, people who want to see scientific research guiding public policy took to the streets in cities and villages across the world for the second March for Science. Sigma Xi members and chapters participated in many events. Below are photos from the marches in Blacksburg, Virginia; Washington, DC; and Raleigh, North Carolina. 

Photos from additional events will be posted as they become available. 

Blacksburg, Virginia

The March for Science in Blacksburg, Virginia, was co-sponsored by the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) Sigma Xi Chapter and the Coalition for Justice. Approximately 50 enthusiastic supporters of science gathered at Goodwin Lawn, a prominent spot visible to a main road passing along the edge of campus. The concurrent timing of Tech's spring football game likely had two opposing effects—lowering the number of marchers, but increasing local traffic of people to see our efforts and read our signs! There were many honks of support from passing cars. The crowd included scientists at varying stages in professional development, as well as some professed non-scientists, who simply believe in and support science!

Sign Holders By Street cropped

Participants of the March for Science in Blacksburg, Virginia, hold up their signs for nearby traffic.

After expressing our support for science and science funding through cheers for about 20 minutes, the group marched through a main thoroughfare through campus, gathering near the Drillfield, a landmark on campus. Sigma Xi's former executive director and CEO John Nemeth was scheduled to speak but was unable to attend. However, his prepared remarks were relayed through Chapter Vice President Deborah Good. Chapter President Joe Merola talked about the impact that science has made on his life, as well as each of his family members. Several Virginia Tech faculty and students made powerful remarks as well.

—Doug Pfeiffer, Secretary, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Chapter

Doug Pfeiffer Deborah Good Joe Merola

On left: Chapter secretary Doug Pfeiffer with his sign. On right: Chapter President Joe Merola and Chapter Vice President Deborah Good speak during the March for Science in Blacksburg. Photos courtesy of Doug Pfeiffer. 

Washington, DC

Members of the Howard University Chapter and the Frederick Chapter participated in a rally at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) headquarters in Washington, DC, before participating in the march.

Sigma Xi member Mary Woolley, president of Research!America, and member Rush Holt, CEO of AAAS, spoke at the rally. Holt and member Sheila Jasanoff, professor of science and technology at Harvard University, were speakers during the march. 

"The March for Science emphasized the need for advocacy and support of evidence-based science policies," said Uvetta Dozier, a member of the Howard University Chapter. "It was heartwarming to see so many scientists, future scientists, and others attending the march in this shared effort. Hopefully, our voices are being heard and policymakers and other leaders are taking note."

Sigma Xi table at AAAS rally

Members at the Sigma Xi table during the AAAS pre-march rally. 
Photo courtesy of Courtney Robinson, on left, president of the Howard University Chapter. 

March for Science in front of the White House

The March for Science in Washington, DC, heads past the White House.
Photo credit: Cameron Bolyard,  Frederick Sigma Xi Chapter member.

Raleigh, North Carolina

Sigma Xi supported the March for Science in Raleigh by having a table in the area for kids, where children could make signs for the Kids March for Science. 

Raleigh March for Science KidsTable

Photo credit: Fenella Saunders, Sigma Xi

Sigma Xi Executive Director and CEO Jamie Vernon was a speaker during the march's program. He spoke about the importance of STEM education. Read his prepared remarks, or watch his speech on Facebook, starting at 42:00 of the recording

"I was honored to speak at the Raleigh March for Science," said Vernon. "Think of it—a group of non-scientists organized a march to support the use of science in public policy. What a wonderful opportunity to connect with the people we serve."

Raleigh March for Science 2018 Raleigh March For Science 2018

Last two photos courtesy of Jamie Vernon, Sigma Xi

More From These Events

See more about the March for Science in Blacksburg, Virginia; Washington, DC; and Raleigh.

Next Up: The 2018 March for Science Summit

Sigma Xi is a supporting sponsor and looks forward to having representatives at the 2018 March for Science Summit on July 6–8 in Chicago. The summit is a meeting for supporters, organizers, and participants in the March for Science movement to share knowledge, build community, and develop their skills as advocates and educators. 

Are you a Sigma Xi member or part of a chapter that participated in the March for Science? Let us know at