Science, not silence. That’s the motto of March for Science, which will take place in cities all over the world on 22 April. Also in the Netherlands, where Maarten Frens, dean of Erasmus University College, is one of the supporters.
We richten ons nadrukkelijk op iedereen die de wetenschap een warm hart toedraagt.
On this day, scientists and non-scientists alike will demonstrate why we need to fight to preserve objective science. “The March for Science is for everyone who feels that facts are important and that alternative facts do not exist”, says Maarten Frens. “Good science is a global phenomenon. The primary aim of the March is to show that you need facts in order to be able to develop policy in a democracy too. We expressly focus on everyone who loves science. We do this by showing that science has a huge impact on our daily lives.”
The programme for the Dutch version on Amsterdam’s Museumplein has not yet been finalised, but there are already many plans. For example, there will be a stage where various important speakers are expected and the square will be covered in tents. In each tent the role of science will be discussed, based on a current theme. “Take climate change or the consequences of migration. Above all, we will explain what makes science so special, so that statements can be made about such difficult subjects.”
‘Our authority is now being brought into doubt, and we need to take action.’
In addition, there is the Milestone March: a walk around Museumplein for the whole family. During the walk, participants will pass a number of scientific discoveries that have had major consequences for society. “Like the discovery of penicillin.”
Frens (‘I’m involved in the March for Science in a private capacity, not because I’m the dean of EUC’) is hopeful that the global event can contribute to maintaining the special position of science. “We must not take its non-partisan and a-political character for granted. If we want to keep our non-partisan position, we must communicate this explicitly. We haven’t needed to do this for a long time, but our authority is now being brought into doubt, and we need to take action.”