Pocket protectors in place: Scientists will march Saturday in Tacoma

Tollefson Plaza will be the site of March for Science Tacoma on Saturday afternoon.
Tollefson Plaza will be the site of March for Science Tacoma on Saturday afternoon. Staff file, 2010

Even the scientists are marching.

The group, better known for academic papers drier than the Atacama Desert (1), will march Saturday in Tacoma as part of a national effort to defend the profession.

March for Science Tacoma is to begin at 10 a.m. at Tollefson Plaza in the 1500 block of Pacific Avenue.

It’s one of more than 400 marches scheduled around the globe on Earth Day in associaition with the major March for Science in Washington, D.C.

Organizers say the national march is to bring awareness to “the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies and governments.”

The march is intended to be non-political but in recent years the scientific community has taken heat for statements on climate change (2) to vaccines (3).

In Tacoma, scientists speaking at the rally will include Sheri Tonn, founder of Citizens for a Healthy Bay, and Steven Neshyba. Both teach chemistry (4) at local universities.

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, will speak as well.

The march will begin at Tollefson Plaza, across from the Tacoma Art Museum, and end in the amphitheater outside the Washington State History Museum.

The exact route was still being finalized Tuesday, according to organizers. (5)


1. “Driest Place: Atacama Desert, Chile,” Extreme Science.

2. “Why We Disagree About Climate Change” Hulme, Mike, 2009.

3. “Vaccines and Autism: A Tale of Shifting Hypotheses,” Gerber, Jeffrey, 2009.

4. “The effects of instructors’ autonomy support and students’ autonomous motivation on learning organic chemistry: A self-determination theory perspective,” Black, Aaron, 2000.

5. “Walking – the first steps in cardiovascular disease prevention,” Muragh, Elaine, 2011.

Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541, @crsailor