Science day / March4Science in Dublin April 22nd - video of march

About 1000 people marched through Dublin this afternoon as part of the international day of action in defence of science. The March For Science is an international initiative to stand up for science and evidence in the face of an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery.

In the immediate sense the most obvious attack is the climate denials of the Trump regime in the US that has seen research being suppressed and date being destroyed. All in the interests of the big oil corporations, like the Tobacco corporations of the 1970s they knew they science is correct but they hope by funding denialism to extend the period they can harvest profits by a decade or more. The cost to the rest of us will be enormous.

The attack on science isn't just driven by the irrationality of the right and far right but also by the quest for profits. In that context its important to also be critical of the corporate take over of science in recent decades. This means research is funded if it is in line with corporate interests but is much less likely to be funded if it goes against these interests.

All of this is very much connected to the process by which universities have become factories for producing workers and the downgrading of subjects that are not seen as producing people ready for the workforce, in particular humanites subjects. All too often science departments have allowed themselves to be enrolled in this process in the short term quest for a larger slice of available funding. They have also been very implicated in taking in industry funding and that always comes with strings.

It's precisely these problems that have enabled the far right war on science as they seek to return to a situation where anything is belived in. But while we need to be critical of these aspects it was fantastic to see such a good turn out today. And whatever criticisms we have we need to recognise the extreme urgency created by the climate change denialism of the Trump administration, something that is bringing us to the brink of destruction.

Words:Andrew Flood

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