Over the weekend, 400 participants from the world of science, including Professor Elisabeth Fröhlich, President of the Cologne Business School and Speaker of the Kölner Wissenschaftsrunde (Cologne Science Round Table), have stood up for free and open science. Launched in 2017 as a reaction to anti-scientific statements by the US government, thirteen German cities took part in this year’s large-scale demonstration and local activities under the motto “Good Climate for Science” as part of the action day. The protest took place in over 100 cities worldwide.
The aim of the “March for Science – Germany” initiative is to promote free and open science as a prerequisite for striving for truth and the trustworthiness of research. Science would be hindered by populist and totalitarian tendencies, economic influence and abuse of scientific methods. Furthermore, it is a concern of the initiative that researchers should take the idea of science even more actively into society and promote the understanding and participation of people, especially the younger generation.
The initiative shares this understanding of science with the Kölner Wissenschaftsrunde, an association of 14 member universities and seven non-university research institutions in Cologne, as Prof Dr Elisabeth Fröhlich emphasised in her address: “We still have a lot to do. New paths of knowledge are also needed in science and “ivory tower research” without making the added value for society visible must no longer be accepted. We will only overcome these challenges if we demand a new free and open science every day”.