NZ ready to march for science

Photo: File.

New Zealand scientists will be the first in the world to take part in the Global March for Science tomorrow.

Marches are scheduled to take place in Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown.

Social and physical sciences will be represented in the marches, which aim to highlight that science is international, good scientists can be political and there should be greater inclusion in science.

Writing in NZ Herald, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, the Prime Minister's chief science adviser, says: "This unprecedented initiative has been received with some considerable ambivalence.

"It has been prompted and promoted in the USA as an understandable response to the new administration making a number of policy moves that disparage science, inhibit government scientists and suggest a decreased commitment to public science.

"These concerns arose particularly because of actions related to environmental and climate science, hence the timing of the march, which will be held on Earth Day."

The Wellington march will begin at Civic Square and end at Te Papa. PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay will speak at the Wellington march, along with representatives from the Green Party and Victoria University among others.

"Wellington is at the centre of New Zealand’s democratic decision making," says Mr Barclay.

"Kiwis care about the quality of the decisions made here, and science plays a central part in that."

Mr Barclay will call on all public sector agencies that employ scientists to honour the principles of scientific integrity - including respecting scientists’ rights to explain and defend their research.

For details of all scheduled marches, please click here.

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