Global march to celebrate science

[2017-04-19] March for Science on 22 April is a global manifestation that took off in the US where researchers wanted to emphasise the importance of science and research-based knowledge in society, as well as counteract fact-resistance. The manifestation has also got a foothold in Sweden where Umeå is one of the participating cities.

Annika Mossing, communications officer at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Umeå. Photo: SLU.

Some of the others are Stockholm, Gothenburg, Luleå, Uppsala and Umeå. In total, the manifestation has united over 500 cities across the globe in this joint fight for science. The Umeå March sets off from Umevatoriet, Umeå’s observatory at Umestan, at 12:00 on 22 April to continue towards Renmarkstorget in central Umeå where speeches will be held by for instance Associate Professor and ecologist Bent Christensen who is a known spokesperson against fact-resistance, but also music and science pep talk at around 13:00.

In Sweden, roughly 60 organisations have proclaimed support for the march, one of them being Umeå University. It is the first time the march takes place here, but it does not end on the 22 April. The work with communicating science as a pillar in society will continue.

Annika Mossing is communications officer at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and research enthusiast. She was contemplating participating in the Stockholm March for Science.

“But I reconsidered. Umeå is a town characterised by science considering we have two universities with researchers and students from all around the world. The manifestation is needed in Umeå as well. That’s why I took the initiative to March for Science Umeå,” says Annika Mossing.

The objective of the manifestation is to show the importance of openness in research, emphasise the significance of variation and diversity to achieve wide perspectives. The importance of source criticism is being discussed in the current climate of fact-resistance in order to bring about a more critical and scientific approach.

At the focal point stands the relationship between science and a democratic society where research is key to problem-solving, societal challenges and increased understanding of the world. Furthermore, the organisers want to highlight the necessity for politicians to understand the great importance of research for them to found their decisions on research-based knowledge.

“Researchers, universities and science form the basis for a democratic society. How the relationship between university and society should be moulded is a complicated issue. It is important that we keep that discussion going when we at present can see examples of how science is being ignored by both members of the civil community and among politicians,” says Annika Mossing.

One way to take part and show your support in that dialogue is to participate in the March for Science on 22 April.

Read about the manifest and the objectives for March for Science

March for Science Umeå

Text: Markus Välimaa

Editor: Anna Lawrence

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