Educators globally celebrate science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity

published 22 April 2017 updated 18 April 2017

Education unions across the world are joining the March for Science today, celebrating scientific research, academic freedom, and freedom of thought.

In its statement to mark the March for Science on 22 April, Education International (EI) declares its support for the mission of the March for Science, “to champion well-funded and publicly accessible science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity”, and “to unite a diverse, nonpartisan group to support science for the common good”.

Value of research

In solidarity with the broad movement joining the March for Science to defend scientific research and academic freedom following the recent attacks on those freedoms, especially in the United States, EI emphasises the following points:

  • Research must be free. Researchers must be free to initiate and conduct research without fear of retribution and must always be protected against any and all pressure that would limit or alter their findings. Research is an endeavour that is key to both human and societal wellbeing. As such, it must be pursued in the broadest sense so that it contributes to increasing knowledge across all fields of study. Yet, research can only contribute to improving the planet's prospects and the collective human interests when two fundamental freedoms are guaranteed: the freedom to conduct research and academic freedom.
  • Democracy requires that scientific knowledge be publicly available as a global common good. The State must take measures to achieve the progressive realisation of scientific democracy by promoting debates and developing opportunities for knowledge exchange between researchers and civilian stakeholders. To this end, the State must guarantee intellectual freedom of research and the professional autonomy of the scientific field upstream of the decisions aimed at developing public policy. The aim of EI and its affiliates is evidence-based public policy making and not public policy based evidence.