Weekend events take science to the street
UPDATE: The marches were well-attended in over 600 countries around the world, complete with hilarious signs.
Scientists and supporters of science will march in support of science this Saturday.
Marches are planned in eleven Australian cities, as paet of a global movement promoting stable public science funding, open communication of science, evidence-based policy, and greater scientific literacy and education in critical thinking.
“The March for Science is all about recognising that long-term, bipartisan investment in science underpins Australia's future,” says Deputy Vice Chancellor Research & Innovation at the University of South Australia, Professor Tanya Monro.
“At a time when other counties are looking inwards, Australia has the opportunity to build on the excellence of its scientific research base to attract the best minds to Australia.
“But it won't happen if we can’t capture the minds and hearts of everyday Australians and that's what this march is about.”
Kylie Walker, CEO of Science & Technology Australia, describes the march itself as a scientific act.
“Science is by its very nature a collaborative enterprise. International cooperation between researchers is vital to advancing the sum of knowledge,” she said.
“The common language of science bridges cultural divides, leads to richer exploration of ideas from new perspectives, and serves to make the world healthier and more resilient when faced by a period of global change.
“We are extremely fortunate to have solid support for science and technology in Australia, but with a growing distrust and disregard for science around the world, we think it is time to speak out.”
Associate Professor Paul Willis - Director of the Royal Institution of Australia - calls for more science across the political spectrum.
“A March for Science must not just take aim at the current Government’s dealings with science. Cuts to CSIRO and other science funding occurred under previous Governments,” he said.
“Across the political spectrum, all parties are guilty of cherry-picking the science they like and denigrating or ignoring the science that doesn’t fit their agenda.
“It’s the same science that tells us that we must stop digging up coal that also makes the link to the death of the Great Barrier Reef.
“The same science that reveals the perils of climate change and over population also supports the safety of vaccines, genetically modified organisms, the nuclear fuel cycle and unconventional gas extraction.
“The same science that produces successes in the treatment of cancer and other diseases also shows the complete failure of alternative medical practices.
“The same science that gave us the modern array of technologies and a standard of health unparalleled in our history also gives us a universe of unimaginable size and antiquity and a history of life stretching over billions of years.
“We need the respect from all political parties for all scientific research and their findings.
“We need real, substantial and sustained funding for all areas of scientific research.
“We should demand that all policies from all parties are evidence-based and address the real and pressing issues identified by science.
“That, in my humble opinion, would be worth marching for.”
More information on local events is accessible at the March for Science site.