Alliance of Science Organisations: Call for more objectivity in crisis situations

12/07/2021 - The Alliance of Science Organisations has criticised the BILD newspaper for the way it reports on individual researchers who are contributing their expertise to contain the Corona pandemic. The researchers were personally defamed and held responsible for political decisions, the Alliance said in a statement. The Alliance consists of the German Research Foundation, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and the Leibniz Association, of which the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research is a member.
Alliance of Science Organisations: Call for more objectivity in crisis situations

Commenting on the current reporting by the BILD newspaper in connection with the coronavirus pandemic, the Alliance of Science Organisations states:

"With the article "Die Lockdown-Macher" (The Lockdown Makers) of 4 December 2021, the BILD newspaper continues its one-sided reporting, which began last year, against scientists who put their professional expertise at the service of politics and society in order to counter the coronavirus pandemic and its dramatically visible consequences.

It is defamatory that and in what way individual researchers are put on display and held personally responsible for urgently needed but unpopular measures to combat the pandemic ("trio of experts gives us frustration for the holidays"). Moreover, it can easily contribute to a climate of opinion that has already led elsewhere to scientists being exposed to physical or psychological violence or being threatened with it.

Such forms of confrontation are in no way acceptable in the view of the Alliance and contradict the basic rules of a free and open society as well as the fundamental principles of our democracy. Especially in crisis situations and in an already emotional field, objectivity in discussion and reporting is particularly necessary and far more effective.

Politics and society are substantially supported by the findings of science, not only in pandemic crises. Therefore, scientists must be able to contribute their expertise freely.

Statement of the Alliance of Science Organisations (in German)

The Alliance of Science Organisations is an association of the most important science organisations in Germany. Its members include the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service, the German Research Foundation, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the Helmholtz Association, the German Rectors' Conference, the Max Planck Society, the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the Leibniz Association.


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