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Politicians, business leaders and academics discuss fact resistance and disinformation at the International Science Festival in Gothenburg

Start cultivating an interest in natural sciences from an early age, provide more role models, encourage lifelong learning and work together to strengthen influence. These were some of the ideas discussed during the round table discussion with politicians, business leaders and academics.

Photo: Göteborg & Co

Just over an hour before the opening ceremony of the International Science Festival Gothenburg at the Draken cinema in Gothenburg, Heléne Hellmark Knutsson, Swedish Minister for Higher Education and Research, met representatives of trade & industry and academia at a round table meeting. The group discussed the collective steps that can be taken to support people and meeting places against growing disinformation and resistance to facts. This is a question that everyone present felt was important.

During the hour-long conversation they discussed the importance of fostering an interest in science at an early age and giving everyone opportunities to choose science later in life, regardless of where they live, their family background, financial opportunities, gender, etc. It was also stressed that those who do not choose science should have easy access to academic knowledge. Having good role models in science is also important, and one suggestion was to set up a prize in the name of a prominent scientist such as Hans Rosling. The group also agreed on the need for collaboration and a shared vision.

The round table discussion was held for the first time during the International Science Festival as a follow-up to March for Science 2017, with the goal of developing new platforms for collaboration between business, academia and politics.

Contributors

Heléne Hellmark Knutsson, Swedish Minister for Higher Education and Research

Jan-Olof Jacke, CEO, AstraZeneca Sweden

Pia Sandvik, CEO, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Maria Knutsson Wedel, Vice President of Education and Lifelong Learning at Chalmers University of Technology

Mattias Goksör, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Gothenburg

Göran Blomqvist, CEO, the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences

Carl Johan Sundberg, professor and chairman of the science council of the International Science Festival

About the International Science Festival

Attracting around 70,000 visits each year, the International Science Festival in Gothenburg is one of Europe’s leading popular science events, and the largest knowledge festival held in Sweden. Since 1997 the International Science Festival has provided a meeting place for sharing knowledge, inspiration and new perspectives. Each year the festival offers three programmes: one for academia, one for industry and one for the public that is accessible and free to all.

International Science Festival in Gothenburg is a sustainable festival that focuses on environmental, social and economic issues.

Sponsors: Chalmers University of Technology, the Trade & Industry Group at Göteborg & Co, the City of Gothenburg, the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, Swedish Research Council and Vinnova.