Grab your bike, tie your shoes, and join us in celebrating the March for Science 2018: Support Local Science and Technology, Defend National Patrimony and Sovereignty on April 14, 6:30 am at UP Diliman. Bring your friends and family.
Free registration! :)
March for Science started in the US in 2017. Sparked by the Trump administration’s moves to restrict scientific knowledge especially regarding climate change, what started as a solidarity mobilization for US scientists grew into a #GlobalScienceMarch last April 22. Scientists all over the globe marched to defend science recognizing its vital role in making informed decisions and as a catalyst for development. They made a mark on history when they flooded the streets in more than 600 cities in over 40 countries including the Philippines.
Last year, Filipino scientists, environmentalists and advocates joined the global science march with our very own March for Science, Environment and the People. This event was both an expression of solidarity for the global movement as well as a call for a local science and technology that will genuinely serve the interests of the majority. The March for Science, Environment, and the People also aimed to showcase how the struggle for the development of science and technology is intertwined with that of the environment and of the people: how science and technology can provide concrete solutions for the real issues faced by the Filipino people. The diversity of the organizations who joined the event, from S&T workers, ICT professionals, students, teachers to wellness advocates, proved how various organizations bond for a common goal.
This 2018, we shall march again. With the theme March for Science: Support Local Science and Technology, Defend National Patrimony and Sovereignty, this year’s march will be a celebration of Filipino scientists, technologists and engineers who excel in various fields of sciences, despite inadequate state support for science and technology development. It also serves as an avenue to unite the S&T sector in defending our natural resources and national patrimony.
The Philippines has brilliant and patriotic S&T workers whose skills and expertise are essential catalysts for national development. We have scientists who are willing to study our natural resources, improve agricultural productivity and food production and promote the wise use of natural resources. We have engineers and inventors who craft technologies which can be used to resolve issues on transportation, energy, and public utilities. However, the lack of government funding and support has been a hindrance to maximizing the research potential of the country. Our government’s preference and reliance on foreign over local scientists has been highlighted recently when Malacanang questioned the capability of Filipino scientists to conduct research on Benham rise.
Science and technology also needs to be upheld amidst policies and programs which favor politicians and big business interests. These curtail science and technology development, hampering its essential functions and putting the public at a disadvantage. One manifestation is the Dengvaxia fiasco. And more recently, with the proposed charter change with provisions endangering our national sovereignty through allowing foreign ownership of our lands, natural resources and even our institutions including the media and education sector.
Amidst these issues, there’s a need for scientists, engineers, technologists, students, and advocates to stand together and march side by side once more. This year’s March for Science 2018 will to serve as a venue unite scientists to collectively call for greater government support for science and technology, and stand together with the rest of the Filipino people to defend national sovereignty. This month-long celebration will kick off on April 14, in concert with March for Science actions worldwide, and will be followed by series of activities including the Earth Day Eco Walk and Science for the People colloquium.