March for Science in Germany
On 14 April, several thousand people across some 20 German cities took to the streets to demonstrate for science. Together with the scientific societies of biologists, mathematicians, geologists and physicists, Germany’s Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh) supported the March for Science 2018. The joint call of the five societies can be found on the website. The societies invited their more than 130,000 members to attend the March for Science and provided them with pin buttons, displaying the motto: “Science Bridges Cultures”.
On one hand, the aim of the five societies was to demonstrate in the name of cosmopolitanism and hospitality. Scientists from the world over, who come to Germany for research and to learn, enrich our universities and research institutions. The second purpose was to emphasise the message that scientific facts are not negotiable as the basis of social discourse. Precise and careful sciences are essential for a modern society and must not be bent to suit populist theories. If facts like man-made climate change are trivialised and initiatives against global warming stopped or reduced, then this threatens the lives of millions of people. Dr Matthias Urmann, President of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker, pointed out the chemists’ commitment: “The Code of Conduct, which is part of our constitution, is a commitment of every member to freedom, tolerance, and truthfulness in science. In the development, application and dissemination of chemical knowledge, we are committed to the truth. Therefore, we cannot accept, when scientific findings are denied or replaced by ‘alternative facts’”.
The Code of Conduct, which is part of our constitution, is a commitment of every member to freedom, tolerance, and truthfulness in science
The action button “Science bridges cultures” should be a visible sign that scientists support these values. Apart from the button, the five science organisations set up a website that provides information on further joint activities of the five specialist associations (in German).
About the March for Science:
In 2017, more than one million people around the world gathered together in the largest event for science advocacy in history. On 14 April this year, the second March for Science took place with worldwide actions, most of them in North America and Europe. “It’s time we held our political leaders accountable for supporting good science policy. It’s time we join together and demand that our leaders use science to inform their work and cast their votes for science.” says the official website www.marchforscience.com/2018.
Karin J. Schmitz
GDCh, Head of Public Relations Department