Bay Area gears up for March for Science: Revenge of the Nerds


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One of the most inspiring speakers in Saturday’s March for Science in San Francisco won’t be speaking, or marching, at all.

Bedridden and silenced by a lethal neuromuscular disease, Eric Valor, 48, is kept alive by science. Science gives him a voice, so he can address the crowd by video from his Aptos home using eyegaze software and a speech synthesizer. And only science can someday end his disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Angered by the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to research, this is what the former surfer, sailor and tech specialist will say: “Science is the only thing that is going to cure ALS.”

Joining him will be science advocates — from Nobel laureates to Lego-loving toddlers — in Washington, D.C., and more than 600 cities across the world, including San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Pacifica, Walnut Creek, Hayward, Livermore and Berkeley. In Los Angeles, the march will be led by an electric Hummer, driven by former NASA astronaut and SpaceX’s Garrett Reisman.

Call it the revenge of the nerds.

While the concept seems simple — who doesn’t love a springtime march? — the actual execution has been tougher.

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Source:: The Mercury News

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