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March for Science returns for round two

People holding banners shout slogans during the 'March for Science' in Durban
People holding banners shout slogans during the 'March for Science' in Durban. Photo: Rajesh Jantilal/AFP/Getty Images

The March for Science took D.C. on Saturday — as well as cities around the world — to make one message clear, per USA Today: "evidence-based" policy decisions are crucial, and "science should not be ignored."

The backdrop: As Axios' Alison Snyder reported earlier this week, the march is smaller this year than its first event last year, as organizers considered what would be best for their communities — which doesn't always mean an in-person march. Per USA Today, advocates "want to keep the spotlight on the critical role science plays in daily lives."

  • The Washington Post reports that the idea for the March for Science "germinated online following the first Women's March on Washington...It caught on fast, with several mainstream science groups jumping on board and promising a nonpartisan event."
  • Shaughnessy Naughton, director of pro-science advocacy group 314 Action, told Wired that scientists can play a role in policy decisions because of the trust the public has in them: "Scientists represent the outsider status, people who aren’t beholden to politics as usual and that does resonate with folks...It can take them outside Democrat or Republican talking points.”

Photos from this year's March for Science:

A child sits on the shoulders of a man holding up a sign as people rally during the 'March for Science' in Durban, South Africa. Photo: Rajesh Jantilal/AFP/Getty Images
Some hundreds of people joined the March for Science in Munich, Germany. Photo: Alexander Pohl/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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Next generation of fertility treatments

Illustration of egg and sperm
Illustration: Caresse Haaser/Axios

From genetic testing to attempts to grow viable eggs from stems cells, researchers are trying to improve the success rate of fertility treatments and cut their cost.

Why it matters: About 9% of men and 11% of women of reproductive age in the U.S. experience fertility problems, resulting in a multibillion dollar industry. The next-generation of fertility treatments has the potential to change who can have children and when but they are still in the early stages of development and have high hurdles to clear.

Khorri Atkinson 11 hours ago
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Senate approves Trump's nominee to lead NASA

Rep. James Bridenstine (R-OK). Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

In a 50-49 vote along party lines, the Senate approved President Trump's pick to lead NASA — Oklahoma Congressman and Navy Reserve pilot, James Bridenstine.

Why it matters: The confirmation comes amid concern "about his record of partisanship as well as some statements questioning climate change, an area of research in which the space agency plays a central role," per the New York Times. The confirmation wraps up a seven and a half month period that left NASA without a permanent leader.