The annual March for Science is taking place this Saturday in downtown Raleigh’s Halifax Mall.

Chapel Hill Town Council Member Hongbin Gu, who will be speaking at the march, said that such a strong showing of support for the scientific community is especially important at a time like this.

“I think that people are feeling that the rhetoric from our politicians intentionally downplay the role of fact and evidence in our policy making,” said Gu. “We can see that in their policies regarding climate change, gun safety issues and healthcare.”

Gu received her PhD in Mathematical Psychology and is an active researcher in autism and child development delays.

She says that this downplaying of facts in politics today was one of her biggest motivations to run for office.

“I participated in the March for Science last year, and I see this enthusiasm and I feel very encouraged and inspired,” said Gu. “I feel like, with my background, I can have my voice in this area.”

Gu says she hopes to urge her colleagues in the scientific community to be more vocal about political issues and even possibly encourage them to run for office.

“Their skills, the way that they are trained to deal with facts and evidence and how to deal with data, I think these skills are strongly needed in the public arena,” she says. “So I’m trying to encourage my colleagues to step forward and be part of it.”

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Photo via Town of Chapel Hill