Scottish politicians back Edinburgh 'march for science'

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Scottish politicians across all parties will support a campaign to "celebrate, promote and defend" science.

The "March for Science" has been organised by scientists and members of the public and will culminate in a rally in Edinburgh on 22 April.

It joins 400 similar initiatives taking place around the world.

The group said it wanted to show support for evidence-based policy as well as highlighting the importance of funding for science.

A spokesperson for the March for Science in Scotland said: "It's fantastic to have the support of every one of the main political parties for this important initiative to celebrate, promote, and defend science.

"We unite as a diverse, non-partisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest."

'Huge contribution'

The Edinburgh march starts in Waterloo Place at 13:30 and finishes at the Scottish Parliament at 15:30.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: "As the birthplace of the enlightenment Scotland has a special role to play in supporting and valuing our science community.

"Our scientists make a huge contribution to our national life through our universities, the part they play in our economy and in informing our national debates.

"It is hugely important that we continue to value the contribution science makes to our society, to encourage our young people to consider science as a career and to protect the place of science in the modern world."

Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson said: "We must do all we can to promote science in Scotland.

"From investing in Stem [science, technology, engineering and maths] subjects, encouraging more people to explore science as a potential career, or ensuring that fact and weight of evidence play a full part in public and political life - all of us have a responsibility to bang the drum."

The leaders of Labour, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats in Scotland have also shown their support for the march.

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