In a cross-party show of unity, all of the main political parties in Scotland have today (Monday 17 April) lent their support to a citizen-led campaign to celebrate, promote and defend science.
The ‘March for Science’ initiative, organised by scientists and ordinary members of the public from across Scotland, will culminate in a march and rally in Edinburgh on Saturday 22 April.
Organised by volunteers, in Scotland the March for Science aims to:
· Celebrate and promote science, and its diversity, as part of everyday culture to everybody;
· Show why funding for science is important and to highlight how this is currently under threat;
· Show support for evidence-based policy and academic freedom.
A spokesperson for the March for Science in Scotland said:
"It’s fantastic to have the support of every one of the main political parties for this important initiative to celebrate, promote, and defend science. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest. We’re looking forward to seeing both scientists and non-scientists from right across Scotland march for science in Edinburgh on Saturday 22 April.”
Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education John Swinney said:
“As the birthplace of the enlightenment Scotland has a special role to play in supporting and valuing our science community. Our scientists make a huge contribution to our national life through our universities, the part they play in our economy and in informing our national debates. It is hugely important that we continue to value the contribution science makes to our society, to encourage our young people to consider science as a career and to protect the place of science in the modern world.”
Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson said:
"We must do all we can to promote science in Scotland. From investing in STEM subjects, encouraging more people to explore science as a potential career, or ensuring that fact and weight of evidence play a full part in public and political life - all of us have a responsibility to bang the drum. That's why the March for Science is so important and why I'm happy to give it my support.”
Leader of Scottish Labour Kezia Dugdale said:
"I'm supporting the March for Science because there has never been a more important time to get science at the top of the political agenda. Whether it's evidence based policy or more support for STEM subjects in our schools, science should be running through the debates in Holyrood and embedded like DNA in government policy."
Co-Convenor of the Scottish Greens Patrick Harvie said:
“The cause of evidence-led policy on issues from climate change to public health has never been more urgent, or more under threat. As the Trump administration rips up business regulations and environmental protection in the US we need a movement of rational voices like never before. I’m delighted to offer my support to the March for Science.”
Leader of the Scottish Lib Dems Willie Rennie said:
“I'm supporting the March for Science because science is the path to better future for our children. Leaving a green and sustainable life for our children must be the priority of any Government and that can only be achieved when we listen to the science and act appropriately."