Demonstrators gathered in downtown Little Rock this afternoon to march to the steps of the Capitol as part of the second annual “Arkansas March for Science.”

The event was organized by the Arkansas chapter of the Sierra Club. There were hundreds of other similar events around the world this year, with many of them taking place last week, including a large event in the nation’s capitol. It was held today in Little Rock to coordinate with Earth Day tomorrow.

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A press release from the Sierra Club described the march’s goals: “to demonstrate that science matters to all Arkansans, and to demand that Arkansas elected officials rely upon sound science in their public policy decisions.”

Glen Hooks, Director of the Arkansas Sierra Club, stated the following in the release:

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Today, we are calling on our elected officials to both support science and to rely upon science when making important decisions,. When it comes to air and water quality, or protecting hunting and fishing spots, or farming, or health care, decisions should be made based upon science—and not upon the platform of one’s political party. Arkansans need leaders who respect science and govern with science in mind—not leaders who ignore science.

This year’s march was focused on teachers and students in the state, the organizers said. The speakers included Katina White, a teacher at Sylvan Hills Middle School; Rachel Hendrix, Ph.D neurobiologist; Jazz Johnston, a teacher at Russellville High School; Derya Bracy, an emergency room nurse; Izzy Jones, a student at Jonesboro High School; and Derek Brooks, a chemist.