Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement in Berlin today (10 April) on the occasion of his meeting with the heads of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany in the run-up to the March for Science:
This year, Germany is celebrating the 70th anniversary of our Basic Law, which elevates the freedom of research and teaching to constitutional level. Defending the freedom of science and research is a common task facing politicians, science organisations and society as a whole – and therefore also for the Federal Foreign Office.
Scientists are unable to work unhindered in many parts of the world, and there have also been worrying developments in a number of European countries, developments that we intend to oppose. Our aim is to counter scepticism of science and “alternative facts” with objective arguments. Together with scientific organisations, we want to draw attention to the opportunities that scientific developments and international research contacts offer people.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas met the heads of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany on 10 April 2019. Their meeting focused on such issues as the freedom of science, Europe, current international challenges and the role of science in the context of Germany’s cultural relations and education policy.
The March for Science, which took place for the first time on 22 April 2017 at the initiative of US scientists, is to be held for the third time on 4 May 2019. Demonstrations and events will take place around the world that seek to underscore the importance of science and scientific freedom.
International cooperation between universities, scientists and researchers is playing an increasingly important role worldwide. Germany in particular enjoys an excellent reputation internationally for its achievements in the area of science, research and innovation and is playing a proactive role in shaping this network as we will only be able to tackle global challenges by working together with international partners and on the basis of scientific evidence. We have created platforms such as the German Centers for Research and Innovation to this end.