Science Moves the World
(April 24th, 2017) Impressions from the March for Science in Leipzig, Germany.
Academics of the world, unite! Against perceived truths and alternative facts. This was the motto of the thousands of Marches for Science worldwide. On April 22nd, scientists and people from all walks of life took to the streets across the globe in support of science, to demand that scientifically proven facts and rational arguments become, once again, the basis for debates in politics, media and society.
One of the marches took place in Leipzig, Germany. Anticipating about 200 participants, the March eventually moved through the city centre with more than 1,000 supporters, passing many famous sights, including quite a few university buildings, and intriguing onlookers. Although accompanied by a brass band and some self-made “instruments”, the March was a rather quiet event. And thus, many casual bystanders were left looking slightly perplexed (and a little indifferent).
Perhaps, a demonstration FOR something doesn't evoke as many reactions as a protest AGAINST something. So it was just as well that the organisers had also formulated a few demands, which are concurrent with science's general demands: more governmental funding for non-commercial research; more support for public outreach activities of scientists, more support for open access initiatives and an “ideology-free and evidence-based education that encourages people to think freely and critically”.
For the organisers, the Leipzig March for Science was certainly a success. Will it change anything, in the minds of the general public and politicians? Possibly not! But it was good to see so many people stand up for science and against a post-truth world.
Photos: Falko Windisch