Scientists and researchers in Chile will demonstrate as one for the second annual March for Science and Knowledge in an effort to confront restrictive policies stifling education and progress in the field.
An estimated 4,500 Chilean academics, researchers and scientists will march with colleagues in over 500 cities around the world on April 14 in response to the budget cuts that have decimated education and science departments around the globe during the last decade.
Chile's Secretariat of Science and Knowledge spokesman Jorge Vielma is calling on students and professionals alike to join the national march, due to be staged outside the Moneda Palace in Santiago.
"We wanted to characterize this mobilization as an opening to citizenship, because we are interested in addressing issues connected with knowledge and science and hoping that many more people are touched and inspired to join this movement as affected citizens," Vielma said.
In a call to action on the march website, organizers say the lack of understanding of science and its needs has resulted in the creation of crippling policies; the stagnation of budgets; precarious work environments for researchers and scientists, and a loss of scientific development and strategy.
"Science is not alien to politics; science is politics," the call to action reads. "Many researchers visualize the difficulty of acting and direct concrete proposals, because they are not considered or heard by the power groups that today make decisions in different parts of the country.
"That is why we invite Chileans to participate in this call... It is a national opportunity to join forces between the different actors related to research, dialogue and organize to make the profound changes that our country needs.
"Research as a human activity transcends borders, languages, cultures and societies. No matter where it is done, its results provide elements of judgment when making decisions to live better and help to expand the frontiers of collective wisdom."
The march organizers are also calling on people to support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, specifically the right to secure social, cultural and economic freedoms.
The movement aims to promote scientific and humanistic research at all education levels, as well as create a national plan to implement scientific, health and humanities professionals into the public and private sectors, and the education system.
Finally, protesters are demanding the Chilean government create a career for researchers and give special consideration to female researchers.