science is vitalDear supporters of Science Is Vital

We have made a lot of progress since my first letter to you. The most important news is that our Central London rally is now official! All of the details are on our website, but briefly, we will be assembling on Saturday 9 October for 2PM in King Charles St, right alongside the HM Treasury. We expect several thousand people to come. Wear or bring any portable symbols of your favorite aspect of science – for example, your white coat, T-shirts depicting something scientific, safety goggles, engineering hard-hat, calculator – whatever you can think of to add some color. (Best to leave your Large Hadron Colliders at home, please.) We will be providing some pre-made placards but feel free to make your own as well, and there will be stewards on hand to help guide everyone in. We are assembling a line-up of great speakers, details to follow. I would be thrilled to see as many of you there as possible! If you don’t live in SE England and want to come, you might consider organizing a coach for your university/institute or looking into ride-sharing with others who want to come.

In other news, our petition – which will ultimately be hand-delivered to Downing Street – now has more than 7,000 signatures: if you haven’t yet, you can sign it here. I’m pleased to report that it contains a gratifying number of non-sciency people as well, which shows that interest in this topic is widespread.

We have received official endorsements from a number of Fellows of the Royal Society, including Martin Raff, Linda Partridge and Roy Anderson, and from organizations such as Cancer Research UK, The Biochemical Society and the British Heart Foundation. And we have had national press coverage, with more upcoming this week.

We have also heard that many people have written to their MPs and have received positive responses – if you are a UK resident (or overseas voters with a UK postcode) and haven’t yet done this, it takes only a few minutes; follow the easy instructions here.

You might also consider contributing to our group blog and giving a personal testimony as to why you think science is vital. You can also read about the economic case we are making for science, here.

Finally, we are asking that anyone who firmly intends to attend our lobby of Parliament on the 12th to sign up officially on our EventBrite. Even if you have already RSVP’d on the Facebook event, it would be very helpful if you could confirm your attendance, because there are space limitations.

Please continue to spread the word to as many people as possible, and thanks once again for your continuing support!

Best wishes

Dr Jenny Rohn

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