29-30 May 2017
European Southern Observatory
Europe/Berlin timezone

Could SCIENCE be positioned as the next social movement?

30 May 2017, 16:10
Telescopium (European Southern Observatory)


European Southern Observatory

85748 Garching Germany
Interactive format Interactive parallel session 7


Ms Sandra Dawson (Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory)


Social movements are a type of group action. They are large, sometimes informal, groupings of individuals or organizations which focus on specific political or social issues. The question is, in a post-truth world of alternative facts and fake news, could science (ya know, the systematic study of our world...) actually be positioned as a social movement? This talk imagines science as a central value in a social movement and suggests unconventional outreach strategies where social movement tactics are employed to elevate and advance the sciences. To do this, we will dissect the fundamental nature of modern successful social movements (indigenous rights, gay rights, animal welfare, and others), including the implications of a recent "March for Science" on April 22, 2017 in Washington, DC. We will outline five out of the box strategies for how science and public outreach professionals might support or advance a social movement that values and elevates science. There will be time at the end of the talk to discuss whether the conditions are ripe for such a social movement and whether research infrastructures could or should have a meaningful role.

Primary author

Ms Janesse Brewer (Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory & 23.4 Degrees)


Dr Gordon Squires (Caltech/IPAC - TMT) Ms Sandra Dawson (Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory)

Presentation Materials