Knowledge, research, politics are focus of San Diego March for Science
Marchers make their way along Pacific Highway during the San Diego March for Science. (Hayne Palmour IV / San Diego Union-Tribune)

The UC San Diego researcher was among more than 1,000 scientists, data geeks and everyday people to attend the March for Science at Waterfront Park on Saturday, the second annual drive to celebrate knowledge and connect data to everyday life.

McDonald was staffing a booth promoting American Gut, a self-proclaimed citizen science project that aims to sequence and study millions of donated stools to better understand how individual human microbiomes can save lives.

The 2018 march, which unfolded in hundreds of other cities across the nation on Saturday, was nowhere near as well-attended as the inaugural event a year ago, when 15,000 people paraded through downtown San Diego to support scientific research.

But the organizers, speakers and attendees this year were every bit as passionate about what they see as a need to shield science from political influence and make sure public policies are based on evidence rather than ideology.

They spoke about how…