Arabic and Simplified Chinese translation.

Aims and Goals

Why we are marching

The March for Science is a global event bringing together people from all walks of life who say we need more evidence and reason in our political process. We champion the public discovery, distribution, and understanding of scientific knowledge as crucial to the freedom, success, health, and safety of life on this planet.

We are a nonpartisan group, marching to promote stable public science funding, open communication of science, evidence-based policy, and greater scientific literacy and education in critical thinking.

All people who value the role of science in society are encouraged to take part in the March for Science.

Aims of the March for Science Australia

The aims of the March are centred around fostering a flourishing culture of robust scientific pursuit, ensuring that the knowledge gained through science is used for the public good, and improving the public’s relationship with the scientific process.

Universal Literacy

March for Science Australia calls for:

  • World-class science education and teaching of critical thinking skills in Australian schools. 

A well-informed community is essential for a free and successful society. We support initiatives to promote broad public knowledge and discussion of scientific work. We support science education that teaches children and adults to think critically, ask questions, and evaluate truth based on the weight of evidence.  

Science is not a field that should be understood by a select few; every person, from every background, deserves an education that encourages scientific learning alongside the arts and humanities. Science works best when scientists come from diverse perspectives, and we must work to encourage and support a new generation of scientists that increasingly includes historically underrepresented groups.

The March for Science Australia recognises that science and scientific pursuits have been used in the past to disenfranchise many minority groups. We are committed to the promotion of science, now and in the future, as an endeavour which all persons have the right to pursue. Diversity can only strengthen and enrich scientific inquiry, and the inclusion of people from all walks of life, and the promotion of equal opportunities within science, should be a goal pursued by scientists and science supporters alike.

Open Communication

March for Science Australia calls for:

  • Assurance that public research methods and findings will not be censored;
  • Public availability of all publicly-funded research; and
  • Encouragement of public communication and outreach initiatives.

For governments to censor research outcomes when the conclusions are unfavourable is completely unacceptable. Thankfully, reports of this happening in Australia are rare. We have been shocked by reports of scientists overseas being gagged from talking about their work, and horrified by the mass sackings of academics in Turkey. Science is an international pursuit and the suppression of one scientist’s work diminishes us all. Rigorous academia must be allowed to flourish.

March for Science Australia condemns the extortionary nature of academic publishers that charge high fees for access to articles published in their journals while making steep profits. We support rules mandating public access to publicly-funded research, including the ARC’s and NHMRC’s Open Access Policies.

As well as the benefits to the scientific community of open access to published work, there is a great benefit to the public when scientific discovery is communicated in a way that is both accurate and accessible to all. We celebrate the many science communication and outreach programs which currently make science accessible to school students and the general public, and call for the extension of these initiatives.

Informed Policy

March for Science Australia calls for:

  • Decision-makers to genuinely consider the all the available evidence when formulating policy; and
  • The public to hold decision-makers to account if they deny or ignore evidence for political reasons.

Science observes and asks questions about the world. As new evidence is found, our understanding is continually updated, presenting us with new questions and answers. Science gives us the ability to examine these questions and craft improved policies and regulations that serve our best interests. Political decision-making affects our daily lives and should take account of peer-reviewed evidence and scientific consensus.

We acknowledge that the complexities of social and environmental issues mean that many factors need to be taken into account when applying evidence to create public policies. However, when those tasked with making public policy do not consider all the available scientific evidence as the starting point for their decision making, the resulting  policies will not serve the common good and may ultimately endanger our standard of living and that of for future generations across the planet.

The March for Science invites the public to join us in voicing their concerns to their elected representatives, and to hold these representatives to account by not returning them to office if they do not properly respect and take account of scientific evidence.

Stable Investment

March for Science Australia calls for:

  • Long-term public investment in scientific research by the Australian government, to provide researchers with the stability needed to plan and execute large-scale projects; and
  • Investment in basic research as a matter of priority.

Stable funding is required for the long-term research projects our society needs to solve complex problems, but levels of funding for various organisations in the Australian science sector fluctuate from year to year. This instability stifles innovation as researchers cannot formulate a long-term research plan if they cannot be sure they can cover staff and project costs into the future.

There has been a shift in recent years towards a focus on commercialising research. This is an essential area but cannot come at the expense of basic, or “blue-sky”, research (research for which the applications are not immediately obvious). Basic research often doesn’t generate a financial return in the short term, but on the whole it provides a return many times over in the long term, both financially and in terms of providing public goods. Prioritising the commercialisation of existing concepts at the expense of basic research will foreseeably lead to the stream of commercialisable ideas drying up.

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