March for Science

March for Science

Tokio, Dhaka, Berlin, Paris, Accra, Santiago, Washington and Greifswald too. On the 22nd April 2017 researchers and students gathered in 610 towns and cities across the world to demonstrate against the increasing distribution of alternative facts and for the freedom of science.

[Translate to English:] Tiana  - Organisatorin

Researchers reported on their personal experiences with people, who don't care about scientific facts. They want facts to become more important.

People from Greifswald spoke to each other on the market square about their experiences and worries. The increasing gap between non-researchers and researchers was also a topic they talked about and which must be closed through communication.

Prof. Dr. Micha Werner warned of a kind of nationalism that rejects facts and would rather create a preferably uninformed public.

The worldwide movement stands for clarification through knowledge and the authenticity of facts. But why right now?

The organiser of Greifswald's March for Science, Ruth Terrode, was overwhelmed by the more than 400 attendees.

In addition to the demonstrators in Greifswald, more than 40.000 participants attended similar demonstrations throughout Germany.

'Across the world, people are standing up for science, the truth and democracy'. Organiser, Tiana Renard, is excited about the worldwide participation. She is especially proud of Guam, 'because my mum is from Guam'.

The attendees all agree that climate change is not an invention and that false statements do not create facts, no matter how often they are repeated.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Klinger works at the Max Planck Institute Greifswald: 'Facts can sometimes be uncomfortable. But denying them, doesn't make any difference to the facts'.

'There are no alternatives to facts!' With the American President Trump and his statements on climate change and cuts to research money, the idea was born in America to start a March for Science as a protest against fact deniers all over the world.

[Translate to English:] Dina Raafat

Dr. rer. nat. Dina Raafat works in the Department of Immunology at University Medicine Greifswald. She bases her work on exact facts. That's why she is fighting for things to stay the same way in society.

Prof. Dr. Stamm-Kuhlmann was also amongst the attendees. He finds that the global 'hostility towards science' which has been increasing over the years is a threat for the autonomy of science across the globe.

[Translate to English:] Prof. Dr. Karlhans Endlich

Prof. Dr. Karlhans Endlich, as a doctor, pointed out that nobody would wish for an appendectomy which is based on alternative facts.

Demos can sometimes be a real blast: Children were not neglected. Toys and games were spread out amongst the attendees and adults helped demonstrate how to play.

Two live bands played music to break up the speeches.

March For Science Teaser image Greifswald

MARCH FOR SCIENCE

in Greifswald

On the 22nd April 2017, demonstrations were held in more than 600 towns and cities throughout the world, under the name ‘March for Science’. Greifswald also held its own demonstration on the town’s market square. The aim was to make clear that scientific knowledge, as the foundation of our social discourse, is not negotiable. 

Scientists were asked to tell their personal stories on a stage which had been put up on Greifswald’s market square and to explain why they carry out research to the more than 400 attendees. The start was made by Prof. Dr. Micha Werner, who spoke about the Ethos of Science and the role of the Arts in this context.

Poetry slammer, Jonas Greiten, presented his very own take on the importance of science and two live bands played music on the stage. 

Greifswald and the surrounding region are home to the University and several internationally recognised scientific research institutions with thousands of employees. The public event allowed them to underline that critical thinking and well founded judgements are only possible, if reliable facts can lay the foundation for information to be classified and assessed. Research and the classification of the found results are the responsibility of science and academia. Researchers and people who consider science to be important, made clear with the ‘March for Science’ that it is not acceptable that scientifically proven facts are negated, qualified or placed equally alongside ‘alternative facts’, in order to gain political ground. 

The scientists explained that they feel obliged to communicate their research results and to discuss them with the general public.

Background

The idea for the ‘March for Science’, a demonstration held by scientists in Washington, arose at the end of January 2017 in the USA as a reaction to a post on a social media platform. This stated that the White House, under the leadership of the new president, Donald Trump, had deleted all of the information on climate change from its website.
This idea was picked up across the globe within just a few days.
And so, on the 22nd April, scientists in Tokio, Accra, Dhaka, Santiago, Washingtion and in Greifswald too, took to the streets to demonstrate against post-truth thinking and cuts to research money.

The organisers of the marches in Berlin and the USA hope the ‘March for Science’ will not just be a one-off. They are now collecting new ideas.  

Further Information
www.facebook.com/ScienceMarchGreifswald
www.uni-greifswald.de/en/university/information/current-news/march-for-science/
marchforscience.de
www.marchforscience.com
www.marchforscience.com/satellite-marches/

If you have any questions, please contact us at ScienceMarchGreifswald(at)gmail(dot)com.