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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

Go deeper

13 mins ago - World

Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Containers carrying doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine arrive in Brazil. Photo: Maurio Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil on Saturday began distributing the 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine that arrived from India Friday, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Brazil has the third highest COVID-19 case-count in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The 2 million doses "only scratch the surface of the shortfall," Brazilian public health experts told the AP.

Sullivan speaks with Israel's national security adviser for the first time

Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben Shabbat U.S. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/Getty Images. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan. Photo: Chandan Khanna/Getty Images

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke on the phone Saturday with his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben Shabbat, Israeli officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: This is the first contact between the Biden White House and Israeli prime minister's office. During the transition, the Biden team refrained from speaking to foreign governments.

Biden speaks to Mexican president about reversing Trump's "draconian immigration policies"

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

President Biden told his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on a phone call Friday that he plans to reverse former President Trump’s “draconian immigration policies.”

The big picture: The Biden administration has already started repealing several of Trump’s immigration policies, including ordering a 100-day freeze on deporting many unauthorized immigrants, halting work on the southern border wall, and reversing plans to exclude undocumented people from being included in the 2020 census.