PITTSBURGH (AP/KDKA) – Thousands of people are expected to attend March for Science events around the world to promote the understanding of science and defend it from various attacks, including U.S. government budget cuts.

A local March for Science started at noon on Bigelow Boulevard between Fifth and Forbes. Organizers believe about 3,000 people were at the event.

march for science pittsburgh 02 March For Science Events To Take Place Around The Globe

(Photo Credit: Brian Grystar/KDKA)

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald were both in attendance.

Peduto said he was “proud to march with thousands from Pittsburgh’s scientific community on this Earth Day.”

“We want to keep facts in the politics,” Justin Spohn, one of the organizers of the Pittsburgh event, said, “and we’d like for the folks who work in D.C. to pay attention to” prominent voices in the scientific community, such as Bill Nye, who was a speaker at the March for Science event in Washington D.C.

Christopher Davis, a geology major, carried a sign that read “Fact Trumps Fiction,” and said he was at the march to support science.

“All I’m here for is to show that we need to support science more so that everyone can have a good understanding of what we’re trying to do and not be misled from false accusations,” Davis said.

The March for Science was dreamed up at the Women’s March on Washington, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January. Saturday is also Earth Day.

The march puts scientists, who generally shy away from advocacy and whose work depends on objective experimentation, into a more public position.

Scientists involved in the march said they are anxious about political and public rejection of established science such as climate change and the safety of vaccines.

In Germany, scientists were expected to rally in more than a dozen cities including Berlin, Bonn, Dresden and Hamburg.

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(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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