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In the name of science

It should come as no surprise that the month of April will play host to another rally in Centennial Square. With political tension around the globe the highest it has been in recent years, Victoria’s citizens are embracing the role of public demonstrations and showing solidarity and exasperation both frequently and fondly.

But what sets the upcoming March for Science apart is the identity of one of its organizers — indie musician and local darling Aidan Knight.

“I guess on one hand you could be surprised,” says Knight, “but if you know me a little bit more you know that … I can be politically involved.”

The March for Science, taking place at noon in Centennial Square on Apr. 22, is one of hundreds across North America celebrating the role of “scientific research and evidence-based policies.” It may seem an odd topic for a musician to throw his weight behind, but Knight grew up in a family of scientists and has several friends in academia. Besides, he says, no social cause exists in a vacuum.

“The persecution of science does affect me, but not as much as if there were persecution against musicians,” he laughs. “But all of those things are intertwined in society, and when you start seeing it that way it’s hard not to want to get involved.”

Knight is working with local scientists and researches in organizing the march, and, in doing so, he is putting his musicianship to good use. Knight is organizing permits with the venue of the march, promoting the event online, and, of course, talking to the media — all important skills for a career in music.

Canadian scientists have making headlines since 2006, when former Prime Minister Steven Harper signed policy that some considered an unfair restriction for scientists disclosing their research information to the media. Things have improved since then, says Knight, but he realizes that there is no bad time to show support.

“I think it’s important that even when things are relatively good in this country for scientists right now … that when it’s good, that’s not a time to not demonstrate,” Knight says. “That’s the perfect time for solidarity.”

Because even though Knight records and performs under a solo moniker, he understands the importance of community.

“I guess the older and older that I get and the more I think about things that I can actively do in the world,” he says, “there’s a part of me that really believes that the best thing we can do is all get together and talk and move together and get behind causes.”

 

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