Thousands Back Global Campaign To Defend Science

20 March 2017, 08:37 | Updated: 20 March 2017, 11:05


Thousands of scientists, academics and others across Scotland are backing a global campaign to celebrate, promote and defend science.

The March for Science initiative aims to show solidarity with scientists and science-led policy-making in the US, which the group says are under threat.

Almost 400 March for Science initiatives in 36 countries have sprung up since President Donald Trump was elected to the White House.

The campaign in Scotland will culminate in a march and rally in Edinburgh on Saturday April 22.

Trevor Sloughter, who is doing a PhD at the University of Strathclyde on mathematical modelling of the Arctic Ocean, said: "Everywhere you go in the world, there are barriers to people participating in scientific endeavours.

"I'll be marching because this initiative is a show of unity and solidarity against every barrier, from government censorship to systemic injustice, to prove that science and knowledge are not just essential to society but rights for each and every human being.''

In Scotland the March for Science aims to celebrate and promote science and its diversity as part of everyday culture to everybody.

It also aims to show why funding for science is important and highlight how this is currently under threat, as well as showing support for evidence-based policy and academic freedom.

The Edinburgh march is being organised by volunteers and is being held in solidarity with the March for Science in Washington D.C on April 22.

Robin Cathcart, an environmental scientist and mother of two who lives in Edinburgh, said:

"Having been born in the US, I'm extremely worried about the suppression of facts and well-established evidence that is occurring there.

"While the situation in the UK is clearly better, I'll be marching with my family on 22 April because I value the role science plays in our medicine, environment, and technologies.''

The event also coincides with Earth Day which takes place on April 22 this year.

Lang Banks, a charity worker from Perth, said: "Now, more than ever, the public and scientists, here and globally, need to stand together to defend science and science-based policy making.

"The march in Edinburgh in April will be a family-friendly event, that everyone interested in celebrating and championing science should look to attend.''