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Connecticut Joins The Nationwide March For Science

Four Connecticut communities hosted a March for Science Saturday, in conjunction with the major event in Washington D.C. Around 1,000 protestors took to the streets of New Haven to voice their concerns.

"I have never marched at an event in my life, but I have been so compelled by what's happened to science in the last 100 days, and that we've moved in the wrong direction, that I felt I needed to be here with my family to make a statement," said Ellen Matloff, a genetic counselor and the CEO of My Gene Counsel.

"The silencing of the EPA, the cutbacks threatened for the NIH, the move away from clean energy and toward fossil fuels, which I think no-one in the world would say is a wise business or scientific move -- all threaten the safety and future for our children on this earth."

Her daughter Leah, 7, said she came to speak out for marine life. "I just love it very much," she said. "I just love fish and coral reefs. I do not want the ocean to get polluted."

Many scientists are alarmed at President Donald Trump's apparent disregard for scientific consensus. He has expressed skepticism about climate change, and said he wants to boost the coal industry over renewable sources. He has also at times seemed to espouse anti-vaccine views.

His proposed budget would cut funding for the National Institutes of Health, a major source of research resources, by 18 percent, and for the Environmental Protection Agency by more than 30 percent.

"There's always been an effort by outside groups to undermine the enterprise of science, because it doesn't fit certain beliefs," said Matthew Enjalran, a physicist who teaches at Southern Connecticut State University. "But now that viewpoint is occupying the federal government, and they control a large number of agencies which are responsible for doing science."

"I think research is really the foundation for everything we know," said Emily Fu, a student at the Yale School of Public Health. "Understanding research and supporting it is the best thing for our future and the next generation."

"This is my first march," said Victoria Davis, a student at Southern. "It helps spread awareness and advocating such an important cause. Science is cool, science is real - science matters!"

Harriet Jones is Managing Editor for Connecticut Public Radio, overseeing the coverage of daily stories from our busy newsroom.

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