PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thousands of people took to the streets of Philadelphia Saturday morning as part of the March for Science Philadelphia. The event, which took place in more than 600 cities around the globe, was billed as a “political, but nonpartisan” protest.

The group of protesters started at City Hall and made their way down to the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing where they were met by bands, dancers and a group of speakers who were there to discuss the importance of science. Janice Rael organized the Philadelphia march and she says it’s important because the sciences and funding for research programs are under attack.

“Because we find ourselves in a time where facts are optional and the Philadelphia March For Science is a big way to show our elected officials and others that we value science and have no intention of starting a new Dark Ages.”

The marches were designed to humanize science, support scientists, advocate for accessibility, and to show how science can improve society. Among the speakers was Derrek Pitts, the chief astronomer at the Franklin Institute, who says science has come under fire from cuts in funding and people who question its value.

“We all need to get on board with the idea that science is what it is,” Pitts said. “We humans can interpret it any way we want to, but we have to use the data to create a better value of life for everybody.”

Pitts says the march for science also provides the perfect back drop for the Philadelphia Science Festival, which is now underway.