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Political leaders back pro-science rally in Edinburgh

Campaigners aim to promote science as part of 400 similar protests worldwide.

March: The event will take place in the capital
March: The event will take place in the capital

Senior figures in Scotland's main political parties have backed a citizen-led campaign march to promote science.

The March for Science initiative, organised by scientists and members of the public from across Scotland, will culminate in a march and rally in Edinburgh.

Campaigners aim to promote science, highlight threats to funding and defend evidence-based policy and academic freedom.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney is one of the politicians to give his support to the campaign.

He 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 Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said everyone has a responsibility to promote science in Scotland, adding "that's why the March for Science is so important".

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said she was backing the campaign as "there has never been a more important time to get science at the top of the political agenda".

Co-convener of the Scottish Greens Patrick Harvie and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie are also supporting the initiative, which will stage a march and rally in Edinburgh on Saturday April 22, one of more than 400 similar protests worldwide.

A spokesman 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.

"We're looking forward to seeing both scientists and non-scientists from right across Scotland march for science in Edinburgh on Saturday 22 April."

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