March for Science

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COLUMBIA - Opponents of President Donald Trump's environmental policy call his changes to regulations "ludicrous."

Professors and scientists gathered on MU's campus Tuesday to talk about "catalyzing change."

The event was organized by March for Science Mid-Missouri as a follow-up to the nationwide March for Science that took place just over a year ago.

"It's really just to talk about what it is that we need to achieve," said Angela Speck, MU's director of astronomy. "We need to have a public face. One of the problems that science has is that there aren't that many people doing science for the public." 

The March for Science last year was organized as a response to President Donald Trump's proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In a 2016 rally, Trump said, "We are going to protect the family farm and we are going to end the EPA intrusion into your lives."

Trump followed that up with a proposed 31 percent cut to the EPA in the 2017 budget. 

At the same rally, Trump discussed easing environmental rules.

"Regulations will be a fraction of what they are now and, believe it or not, environmentally you'll be protected better and we'll have jobs," he said.

Speck disagrees with Trump's view.

"It's just ludicrous," she said. "The idea that you can cut regulations and make things safer is not born out in history." 

Speck said she believes running for office is the best way to create change.

"The number of scientists running for election is unprecedented because that's the only way we can see real difference," she said.

Speck said the key to changing attitudes is reaching people who would not otherwise consider her views.

"We need to go to people and engage people where they are because they aren't going to come to us," she said.