OXFORD — The March for Science will have a satellite march in the City of Oxford, thanks to organizer Dustin Hornbeck. He organized the march to show students they do not need to travel to larger cities to be an advocate.
The March for Science is an international rally which was planned to combat what many scientists view as a denial of climate change. Planned on Saturday, April 22 (Earth Day), cities all over the world are hosting their own satellite marches in support of the scientific community.
This march was inspired by the success of the Women’s March, but is intended to voice the concerns of scientists who feel silenced.
Hornbeck started planning the satellite march because of the university. As a doctoral student at Miami University, he noticed there is a lack of student activism.
“I believe that in a democracy, local activism is of paramount importance for people to be able to have their voices be heard,” he said.
For activities such as the Women’s March, Miami students and Oxford residents alike traveled to cities like Cincinnati for their activism, but Hornbeck wanted to inspire activism in town.
He added, “Being an activist in the place in which you are situated is a very valuable thing to do.”
While inspiring other students was a motivating factor for Hornbeck in organizing the march, he also says it came from a place of worry.
“I am concerned about the current state of affairs with the disregard to science and global warming, climate change, scientific standards, etc.,” he said.
According to Hornbeck, the march is nonpartisan. He added, “This is not an Anti-Trump march. This is a pro-science march.”
He believes science is critical to the nation.
“The United States is founded on the principals of the enlightenment, which are based on the belief that human reason and the application of the scientific method can make our lives better,” he said.
With this march, Hornbeck hopes to bring together a “collection of voices.” He hopes those with a similar mindset will come together to fight for a belief they share.
“We hope to convey our concerns for the disregard of science, the environment, and objective facts,” he said.
He has three specific goals for the march. He wants to march in the name of the scientific method, to show that it “improves the lives of human beings.” He wants to prove that “objective facts are real.” Finally, he wants to create a way for people to peacefully voice their concerns.
He wants everyone to feel they can attend this march, even if they are not scientists.
“If you can look at the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the conveniences we take for granted and appreciate them, then this march is for you,” he said.
Just as he believes science is of value to the nation, he believes in the right to protest.
“There is nothing more fundamental about being American than the petition, assembly, and the gathering of people to voice their concerns,” he said.
There will be volunteers present to clean up any litter that is generated from the march.
Hornbeck set up a Facebook page for the march and a thousand people have indicated their interest. The event can be found online, if anyone is interested in following the gathering.
The Oxford march will meet in front of Armstrong Student Center and continue up the “slant walk” for the rally. “Slant walk” is on the edge of campus, across the street from Skippers, where the Gate entrance to campus is.
Participants should meet at Armstrong at 11:30 a.m., with the rally beginning at noon. Speakers will include Oxford Mayor Kate Rousmaniere, local scientists, and a performance by the Men’s Glee Club.
Parking can be found in on-campus garages or at meters uptown. Most campus parking lots require a University parking pass, so participants should be aware of local parking restrictions.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH