March for Science Munich – Saturday, 14th April 2018
Organizer: Randolph Caldwell, Molecular Biologist. Leader of March for Science Munich organization team.
When/where: Saturday, 14th April - Meet at Königsplatz at 0930 for several short opening speeches, then at 0945 join the “Funktacular” March for Science to Marienplatz, proceeding via Brienner Str., Odeonsplatz, Residenzplatz and Diener Str. At Marienplatz there will be several short concluding speeches from 1145-1230.
Why are scientists gathering in over 500 cities on 14th April 2018? It’s all about assuring sustained funding for science, academic freedom and fact-based politics. Show your support by joining our local scientists at the March for Science in Munich.
With its friendly atmosphere, the march is open to all … and important for all! Catch us if you can. Together we will stand for open and fact-based thinking. At Marienplatz there will be speeches by Prof. Dr. Paola Caselli (Director and scientific member of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics), Prof. Dr. Gerhild Wildner (Director of AG Immunobiology at the LMU’s Eye Clinic), and Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs (TUM School of Governance & Hochschule für Politik, Chair of Environmental and Climate Policy). Auf geht’s!
„With the March for Science, we want to boost awareness and enthusiasm for science,” says Randolph Caldwell, Head of the Organization Team for the Munich March for Science. “Everyone who believes in the clear differences between trusted science and personal opinion is invited to participate in the global demonstrations for the value of research and science.”
Today science and academia are under populist political pressure world-wide. Every time a well-known person questions evidenced-based science, the science community must react. In contrast to some other countries, here in Germany we are fortunate that science is not directly challenged today, but we must remain vigilant in countering emerging developments that may threaten it. In fact, science here in Germany and Europe faces a growing loss of confidence as anti-democratic forces attempt to make political capital from criticizing it. This development is marked by the term "Alternative facts," the word of the year in 2017.
The value of scientific thinking must remain in our social consciousness. Science is not an end in itself. The clear distinction between evidence-based, verifiable knowledge and personal opinion is a prerequisite of any political debate. Attempts to influence, downplay or co-opt science are threats to democracy. At the same time we must be aware of the shortcomings of science, and those driving science must assure that it earns and sustains the trust of society.
Currently the science system offers no real incentives for scientists to communicate the results of their research. Trust is created only through clear communication. Science and society are dependent on each other. We will be marching for freedom in science and research as well as fact-based policy.