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"March for Science" - against the attack on the Enlightenment

04/19/2017 - As an "attack on the Enlightenment", the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, described the post-truth populism in a guest contribution to the leading German weekly "Zeit". In more than 500 cities worldwide, the "March for Science" - demonstrations for science - takes place on April 22nd. Schellnhuber supports the corresponding activities in Germany. Other PIK scientists are involved as well, a number of them have already articulated their stance in advance.

"When facts are swept aside," Schellnhuber said, "this is an attack on the thinking of Kant, Voltaire and Benjamin Franklin." The founding fathers of the Enlightenment laid the foundation for our modern world by establishing the scientific methodology. At the same time, they explained that "according to humanistic values the discovered truths should be devoted to the service of society", Schellnhuber said. "This means taking responsibility for the use and non-use of one's own findings. The Enlightenment calls for commitment to tolerance, freedom of speech and civil rights. It is no coincidence when neo-populist forces in the US and Europe attack both: the principle of reason as well as its embedding into a system of values of humanity. Characteristically, the AfD agitates against science just as well as against refugees."

On the occasion of this worldwide protest, the Science Media Center has collected opinions from scientists throughout Germany on the subject of "Why Science?" - among them several from PIK, for example by Katja Frieler, co-chair of the PIK research domain Climate Impacts: "Science tells us about reality - and this is the most exciting story in the world." In a wide range of media, PIK researchers have commented on the "March for Science", including Wolfgang Lucht and Stefan Rahmstorf.

The German "March for Science" is supported by all national scientific organizations, from the Leibniz Association, which includes PIK, to Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. Several PIK researchers are also taking part in the Berlin march.

More information about the "March for Science Germany": http://marchforscience.de/
More information about the "March for Science Berlin": http://marchforscienceberlin.de/

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