THE SCIENCE VOTE (#SCIVOTE) MOVEMENT: ORIGINS

[Over the last 3 weeks I have been following very closely what was happening before, during and after the recent UK elections but from a scientist’s point of view. I copy-pasted every article I could find into Word documents. In the end, these Word documents were more than 300 pages long. I also read all of them and I have been following the twitter discussions as well. Finally, I wrote the following article for a major Greek newspaper (for those of you who understand Greek and this will not all “sound Greek to you” the weblink for the Το κίνημα “Ψήφος στην επιστήμη” paper is http://www.vimaideon.gr). This is my attempt to translate it. I am saying attempt because the language centre of my brain does not understand anymore which are Greek expressions and which English. I would really appreciate it if any of the people that were actually part of this movement could tell me which points I’ve understood wrongly: a third-party always sees things differently and a lot of times not correctly. I can think of many points that might be wrong or annoy people.]

THE SCIENCE VOTE (#SCIVOTE) MOVEMENT: ORIGINS

The Lisbon Treaty and then European Strategy for 2020 stressed, ambitiously perhaps, the importance of long term investment in knowledge – produced through science and technology – as the only way of exiting from the financial crisis. Politicians in every corner of Europe (and beyond) indicate that the goal of modern society should be a knowledge-based economy.Nevertheless – whereas the U.S.A., China and India increased their funding for science – Great Britain and other European countries in their general panic to reduce public deficit and debt, announced cuts in public investment in science and technology. In other words, although governments recognize the importance of these investments, they do not apply them. In this way they are risking the future of their country, since a reduction in funding today will lead to future lack of scientific expertise needed to boost economic growth.[businesses seem to agree already on this]Many British people noticed this paradox during the recent election campaign and their disagreement resulted in the “Science Vote” movement or «#scivote» if one is to use twitter terminology. But what is this movement? What were its aims? Did it succeed in British elections? What is its significance for Greece?

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