The “March for Science” is now entering in a new step. It is time to prepare the event.
This is obviously the most critical moment, when volunteers are called by the organising cores to join the team. Looking to all the events in preparation throughout the EU gives an interesting panorama of the scene. Here the last updated interactive map! New cities are preparing the March: welcome to Lisbon,Strasbourg and Bratislava. Germany is reorganising its national coordination.
Facebook (FB) is the driving force once Twitter did its job by a fast propagation of key information. Twitter provokes mind agitation of the most reactive persons leading to the de novo cores: few people in general per stochastic rules. FB community and groups are then emerging. FB groups allows an easier communication between those that appear to be really concerned as they can post on the wall, when a FB community is mostly dedicated to aggregate followers that hopefully will become marchers. Followers are just visitors in the related FB page: no rights to post on the wall. Sometimes, FB pages are more restrictive and just allow to send a private message. This is not a bottom-up attitude therefore it is not sustainable for such a game. The worst is that, unfortunately, some countries are not visible. Why this auto-censure? Not concerned? Fear facing too rude top-down power? Extreme fatalism due to lack of hope? We will march for you if you cannot! But let’s try, it will be a celebration day for open values, not for war!
A FB group appears as a crucial step to provide the extended nucleus allowing an aggregation of possible co-organisers to the initial cores. The next step mainly with the groups, sometime with the community, is to switch from the virtual platform to the organising meetings. Then the reality comes with a big question at the first meeting: why so few people are physically present? Today, March 4, some have already passed by several meetings. Most have just had the first one. Several are still waiting for a real one or, worst, are still waiting to have a group, which strongly limits the possibility for virtual leaders to appear thus build a small community of organisers. Others are running for a fast reorganisation, once the first nucleus has found its limit. A balance between local and national groups is also in question and strongly vary depending on each country and, first of all, their size and their cultural tradition. For those local teams that passed the barriers, the real work starts.
More people get involved, greater the success will be!
Of course, social networks are connecting people in parallel to the real life or to “pseudo” real life, where people still can meet directly or, using smart phone, by the SMS way or similar. Emails are in between. It seems that this is not sufficient nowadays! Whatever, the schedule is now clear, as the march must be programmed then presented to local authorities with a route and a timing to be allowed to become a reality. So, 7 weeks remains to establish the road map, all the logistic, the communication with media and the aggregation of more people. This last point is still critical as more people get involved, greater the success will be!
There is still THE key issue. It concerns the strategy and the goals to achieve. US scientists fighting against D. Trump’s governance, that’s very clear! European, national and local issues? Undoubtedly! We would like here to strongly emphasise the needs for a European approach. Why? Because we are all Homo scientificus europaeus! What does it mean? First, we share the same scientific culture that came from the Age of Discovery. Second, we are now facing to a common reality: the danger for EU to implode soon due to the joint pressure of Brexit, Le Pen and many nationalist mixed with post-truth signals, including D. Trump as an external one. Third, a pan-European movement will boost motivation within local groups, sharing energy as engaged for the same cause: a better future where science will be dedicated to awesome breakthrough and pertinent innovation for the common good.
Open science in an open world!
HSE community manager & Head of the EuroScientist’s Editorial Board