Worldwide initiative in support of science

“March for Science” draws 1,500 demonstrators to Bonn

Bonn. Worldwide initiative in support of science “March for Science” draws 1,500 demonstrators to Bonn.

More than 1,500 demonstrators came to the Hofgarten meadow at the University of Bonn on Saturday to participate in the international March for Science, showing their support for freedom of science, the media and the judicial system. 

A peaceful demonstration took place at the Hofgarten meadow outside the University of Bonn on Saturday afternoon.  “March for Science” demonstrations were scheduled throughout the world and around 1,500 people came from around North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) to take part in the rally in Bonn.  

Banners were displayed with slogans reading, “Forschen statt Faken” (Research instead of Faking), or “Fakten sind sexy” (Facts are Sexy) while groups on stage expressed their solidarity with scientists who have currently come under pressure in Turkey, Russia, the U.S. and Hungary.   Professor Michael Hoch, Rector of the University of Bonn said universities are accused of being too unpolitical. 

“Today, at the March of Science, we are showing that we are strongly opposed to the populist and anti-science tendencies also in our own country,”  he emphasized, earning him much applause.  Referring back to the early 80’s when hundreds of thousands took part in a peace demonstration at the Hofgarten, he said Bonn had proved itself over the decades to be a cradle of democracy.   “We take to the streets to fight for freedom of the sciences.  We need a global oriented research.

 Only then can we continue to exist as a democracy,” said NRW Science Minister Svenja Schulze to the crowd.  “And there are no alternative facts.  Alternative facts are nothing but lies.”  It’s of course all too tempting to wish for simple answers to complicated questions.  Other leading members from the academic community also spoke in support of science, and about the importance of a critical press and an independent justice system.  

Orig. text:  Ebba Hagenberg-Miliu