Scientists should speak up if politicians ignore climate research – survey
Clean Energy Wire
Three out of four Germans say it is right for scientists to get involved in the climate policy debate if political decision-making does not take into account their research results. Yet almost 30 percent of respondents in a representative survey by Wissenschaft im Dialog (Science in Dialogue, WiD), conducted by Kantar Emnid, say that it is not the role of scientists to interfere in politics. The questions were put into the context of the Fridays for Future student climate protests and the fact that, based on research results, scientists have said that measures taken and planned by governments are not enough to protect the climate. Respondents put climate and energy (41%) at the top of the list of topics that should be intensively researched in the future, closely followed by health and nutrition (39%). WiD is an initiative of Germany’s scientific community which promotes discussion and exchange about research in the country.
As German students took to the streets to call for more ambitious climate action this year, thousands of researchers backed the protests and formed the group Scientists for Future. "The aim of the initiative is to send a clear signal that the protests of young people are fully justified,” Maja Göpel, secretary-general of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), said at the time. The scientists’ support came in part as a response to public figures who have questioned whether students should be allowed to skip school to protest or even understand the issues well enough.