We are writing to you today as a concerned and conscientious scientists about that state of our field globally. As we all are becoming increasingly aware, we live in contentious times and, if you are like us, you are wondering about how to be strategic and effective in any actions you take in advocacy for our field. For several professional and personal reasons, many of us reserve our opinions to our specialties in which we have the most knowledge and authority. We judiciously venture beyond those parameters, especially in the theatre of public opinion, only when absolutely necessary. When we do, it is usually in service to the continuation of our work or until such times that public opinion no longer supports that work. We have been fortunate to have public support in the past; however, with national leadership in many countries questioning the veracity and value of this work and science itself, there are no guarantees that public confidence will prevail. We are now in times in which we are compelled to take action.
Understanding the mission of the IFSR as apolitical, we thought long and hard about sending this appeal to you to join the International March for Science on Earth Day, April 22, 2017 (see: https://www.marchforscience.com/mission/) As leaders in international organizations promoting scientific knowledge and application, your voices are influential in public discourse and can add significant momentum to the success of this event and its mission (learning and education). You can read more about the rationale for joining the fray here:
Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/02/09/the-march-for-science-is-gaining-mainstream-momentum/?utm_term=.70a9a1fbd70e
We are not asking that your organization formally endorse this march, although we would not object to it. We are asking you and your members to consider exploring the possibility of becoming involved in this event (either by marching or supporting it) and inviting others in our community to do the same. This link will take you to the site and you can find a local march in your region (https://www.marchforscience.com/satellite-marches/). This is an international event – there are satellite marches in Adelaide, Auckland Berlin, London, Mexico City, Paris, Vienna, and many more cities globally. If there isn’t a march in your city, you may want to start organizing one now.
While we encourage you to join our fellow scientists in sending a strong message of unity in the value of scientific inquiry and knowledge, We understand that you may not feel compelled to do so. We appreciate your position and link arms with you whenever we can advance the systems sciences, cybernetics, and systems engineering in other venues. Thank you for considering this appeal to raise conscientious of the value science brings to all.
On behalf of the Executive Committee of the International Federation for Systems Research,
Mary C. Edson, Ph.D., President