Programming Note: March for Science, Geneva

Even though my goal in 2017 was to write more and produce more content for Science Daily Dose, I have definitely not met this goal so far this year, but it’s been for a very good reason. I am busy organizing (with a great team of other scientists) a March for Science in Geneva in solidarity with the March for Science in Washington, D.C., on April 22.

// What is the march all about? 

Mission Statement

The March for Science, Geneva, affirms that science belongs to everyone. Facts are real, and science, free from partisanship and prejudice, benefits humanity.

Vision Statement

The March for Science, Geneva, brings together enthusiasts of and advocates for science from the community and the numerous publicly-supported research institutions in Switzerland to affirm the following:

  • Science benefits humanity, generating new technologies, cures for diseases, and improved living conditions.
  • Science is non-partisan, since scientific results are independent of political affiliation, and should be free and available to everyone.
  • Policy should be informed by science, because science is a universal set of tools that exists independent of public policy.
  • Citizens have the right to be informed, and to have access to comprehensible and unbiased scientific reports from trustworthy sources.
  • Every person is, at heart, a scientist, irrespective of title, age, or culture. Curiosity is human, and is the foundation of all scientific endeavors. Science is everywhere and affects everyone.

We recognize the firm, long-standing commitment to open, inclusive science by the governments of Switzerland and the Canton of Geneva, and we celebrate this commitment as an example to communities worldwide.

We acknowledge that history is filled with cautionary examples in which science has been invoked or used to discriminate based on race, gender, religion, sexual identity and socioeconomic class. To that end, we explicitly reject all contemporary and future attempts to co-opt the methods of science to oppress or marginalize any group of people.

We affirm that facts are immutable, empiricism is the best method we possess to differentiate truth from falsehood, and that science, free from partisanship and prejudice, benefits humanity.

 // Why do I march?

I am marching because I think that open science and generating open data are important. There is an incredible amount of value in sharing information with others. I am marching because I define a scientist as someone who is interested in studying the world around her or him, to understand how particular aspects of it work, in a systematic way. I am marching because science is based in facts, and alternative facts simply do not exist (from a scientific standpoint). While it is true that theories may be updated over time as our understanding of the world changes, this is distinct from inventing falsehoods to provide alternative interpretations of facts. I am marching because I believe that funding for all science (including basic research) is vital, and that scientists should not be forced to anticipate an immediate impact of their own research in order to obtain funding. I am marching because I believe in equality for all people, and I reject all attempts to use science as the basis to oppress or in any way harm any group of people. I am marching because I cannot bring myself not to march.