Thousands join March for Science in St. Paul

Marchers pass the Cathedral of St. Paul.
With the Cathedral of St. Paul visible in the background, marchers head towards the State Capitol in Saint Paul during the March for Science.
Matthew Hintz for MPR News

Updated: 2:30 p.m. | Posted: 12:47 p.m.

Thousands of people marched in St. Paul Saturday afternoon as part of the March for Science Minnesota. St. Paul police estimated at least 10,000 people participated. Demonstrators marched from the Cathedral of St. Paul to the Capitol, chanting and singing along the route.

Mike Wolf from Golden Valley was one of them. He's a scientist who works for a medical device company and said he was excited to be surrounded by so many others in his field.

"I love being on the train," said Wolf. "I was around a bunch of virologists from the cancer center, and there's a bunch of nurses nearby and the people from dental research. So it's wonderful being surrounded by scientists."

The march stretches along the shores of Lake Bemidji.
The Bemidji March for Science stretches along the shores of Lake Bemidji.
Monika Lawrence for MPR News

Organizers portrayed the march as political but not partisan, promoting the understanding of science as well as defending it from various attacks, including proposed U.S. government budget cuts under President Donald Trump, such as a 20 percent slice of the National Institute of Health.

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Mike Hvidsten of St. Paul teaches college math and said he relies on research grants from the National Science Foundation. He said he marched to support ongoing scientific research.

"We need factual based decisions being made and scientific input into decisions that are being made and not be afraid of science and think it's some kind of strange thing," said Hvidsten. "It's what everything is built on."

Earlier on Saturday, younger demonstrators gathered near the Science Museum of Minnesota for the Kids Climate March.

The Kids Climate March joins up with the March for Science.
The Kids Climate March joins up with the March for Science.
Matthew Hintz for MPR News

Spencer Snyder from Minneapolis was there with his family.

"I feel that climate change is important and I want to make a better future for not only me, but every single kid here," said Snyder. "We need to do what we're doing right now. We can't just have people driving by, saying 'hi,' honking. We need to act now and protest."

Across the country, hundreds of science marches were scheduled to take place. In Minnesota, a total of 13 marches were planned, including in Bemidji, Alexandria and New Ulm.