Australian celebrities and world-renowned scientists and technologists have signed an Open Letter to reinforce their support for, and the significant value of, science and technology.
With ‘alternative facts’ on the rise and a growing disregard for evidence-based decision making internationally, these leading Australians have spoken out in defence of pursuing and using evidence to make important decisions for our lives and futures.
“We are extremely fortunate to have sound community and government support for science and technology in Australia, but with a growing distrust and disregard for science around the world, we thought it time to speak out,” said Kylie Walker, CEO of Science & Technology Australia.
“When important decisions need to be made, the answer should be informed by science.”
Signatories of the Open Letter include comedian and director Tim Minchin; director and businessman Todd Sampson; Nobel Laureate Professor Brian Schmidt; Australian of the Year Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim; author and comedian Adam Spencer; Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation at the University of South Australia, Professor Tanya Monro; and many more prominent Australians who support and defend the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The Open Letter coincides with the global March for Science, which is expected to attract millions of participants internationally.
“In Australia, it’s important that we emphasise the need for our own government to enable research through long-term and strategic investment in science and technology,” said Professor Jim Piper, President of Science & Technology Australia.
“Australia is making great progress towards this, but we can’t lose sight of what could go wrong if we fail.”
Ms Walker said the Letter was also intended to demonstrate Australia’s commitment to furthering knowledge beyond our own borders.
“Science is by its very nature a collaborative enterprise. International cooperation between researchers is vital to advancing the sum of knowledge,” she said.
“The common language of science bridges cultural divides, leads to richer exploration of ideas from new perspectives, and serves to make the world healthier and more resilient when faced by a period of global change.”
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