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The day #CienciaBoricua became visible

Mónica Ivelisse Feliú-Mójer's picture
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Diego Chamorro, Blu Pepper

Under the Caribbean sun and embraced a cool sea breeze, on April 22, 2017, over 600 scientists, students and citizens marched for science. It was a historic day for Puerto Rican science. Young and old flooded the streets of historic Old San Juan to celebrate #cienciaboricua, to demand policies based on evidence and informed by the local scientific community. We joined 600+ cities around the world to #MarchForScience.

We marched to connect scientists with citizens and show that scientists are citizens, too. We marched to demand a sustainable infrastructure so that science can move Puerto Rico forward. Last but not least, we marched to emphasize the need to build resilience against climate change.

The energy was contagious. March for Science Puerto Rico offered beautiful examples of culturally relevant science. Demonstrators were singing popular songs—with a science twist—to the rhythm of traditional plena hand drums. As we marched on one of Old San Juan’s busiest roads, cars driving along were honking their horns in support. They would stop to film us and take pictures and offer words of encouragement.

Many people were asking, what’s next? March for Science Puerto Rico was co-organized and supported by a coalition of nonprofits and groups that have already been working to bring science to the public, advocate for evidence-based policies and a sustainable science infrastructure in Puerto Rico, and demand action to address climate change. Those organizations and groups include Ciencia Puerto RicoEarth Day Puerto Rico, the Caribbean Division of the American Association for the Advancement of SciencePara la Naturaleza, and the Puerto Rico Section of the American Chemical Society, among many others.

Our work will continue after the March for Science Puerto Rico, with even more momentum. The March gave us something valuable: visibility. The message we sent by marching in Old San Juan was loud and clear: the community of #cienciaboricua is here to serve our people. Public and civic engagement work is a marathon, not a sprint. We've been doing this work for years, decades, and we will continue to do so.

In the next few weeks we will be sharing actions you can take to continue moving forward the goals of March for Science Puerto Rico. Stay tuned, stay engaged!

Read the news coverage of March for Science Puerto Rico: