Thousands of scientists, researchers, teachers, and students came together in more than 30 cities and towns across the country on August 9 for the ‘India March for Science’. The protest was not just against the massive cuts in research funding, but also against the increasing promotion of unscientific and obscurantist ideas in public discourse. Protestors everywhere expressed their concern over the propagation of such ideas, which they felt, were undoing all the development that had taken place in science in the country in the past few decades.
Members from Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), a CSIR lab, were prohibited from participating in the march. Yet, they walked along with the protestors, to convey their dismay over the state of their lab and the lack of funds and salaries.
The organisers of the march made the following demands:
1. Allocate at least 3% of GDP to scientific and technological research and 10% towards education.
2. Stop propagation of unscientific, obscurantist ideas and religious intolerance, and develop scientific temper, human values and spirit of inquiry in conformance with Article 51A of the Constitution.
3. Ensure that the education system imparts only ideas that are supported by scientific evidence.
4. Enact policies based on evidence-based science.