My simple sign was a photo of my dad, in his lab coat, with a beaker and an equation on the chalk board behind him. I also included his birth and death dates. In this way I felt that he was marching with me.
Spare, of course, is more flamBEEant.
This was the strangest crowd of marchers I've ever been in. I guess you could just say that these were all smart people. Call them geeks or nerds if you will, but you could almost feel the intelligence beaming off of everyone. Honestly, the signs weren't as creative as at the Women's March (Spare being the exception), but they were sincere. No one is taking this lightly, is I guess what I'm saying.
We barely got to Penn's Landing before it began to rain. It rained in earnest. Spare and her friends floated off, but I had a rain slicker, so I puffed out my chest and stayed for the speakers. I stayed and stayed. You remember how boring those chemistry lectures were in college? Well, those were the people who were speaking. It doesn't matter, though, because all the sentiments were the same. Science made this country great. Science has unending potential to benefit humankind. Science brings progress. Inventors should be respected. Energy should be renewable. We can all be scientists, even in small ways like monitoring our local creek. We should run for office, call our government officials, keep the pressure on. Vaccinations are a good thing, de-funding the EPA and Planned Parenthood isn't. Not all scientists are atheists. Geology is a helpful predictor of history. And I forget the rest, there were lots and lots of speakers.
Spare is in a dark place just now, so it was good to see her engaged in this worthy pursuit.
Benjamin Franklin was very much on my mind as I marched. Funny thing, as I was walking back up Market Street after the event was over, I passed a historic landmark that I'd never noticed before -- what's left of his house. So I walked back there to what might have been his front door. I thought about knocking, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. How could I look a Founding Father in the eye and say that the same great nation that put a man on the Moon is now dumping data and denying climate change? I let him rest.
The title of this sermon comes from a sign I saw but couldn't get a good picture of. It said "Science is the Poetry of Reality." Okay, well, poetry is the poetry of reality too, but I thought it was a good slogan anyway.
And of course we chanted as we marched:
What do we want?
When do we want it?
AFTER EVIDENCE-BASED PEER REVIEW
As I said, it was a rather strange march.