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Science not Silence

The March for Science, held last Saturday in over 600 cities around the globe, was a huge success. Hundreds of thousands of science supporters gathered to celebrate its crucial role in the modern world. At the event in Amsterdam, the MPI community made a significant impact.
Science not Silence

On Earth Day, April 22nd, over a hundred people from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (MPI) rallied among the two thousand-plus marchers at the Museumplein in Amsterdam. Directors, group leaders, postdoctoral researchers, PhD and Masters students, some with their families, were a prominent presence.

MPI director Peter Hagoort was one of the keynote speakers who addressed the public. In his speech, he urged governments, business and society to realise what we owe to science and how much we will need it in the future. Hagoort put forward two reasons why fundamental science is crucial. ‘First of all, with today’s knowledge, we cannot predict what tomorrow’s knowledge will be. That’s the magic of science’, he said. ‘Secondly, science and knowledge form the immune system of our complex society. Without it, a society is at risk of not knowing how to respond to unforeseen and unpredicted attacks.’ The entire speech (in Dutch) can be found here

Science March Peter Hagoort speech

Photograph © Job Knoester

With eight keynote speakers, teach-in tents and a science stroll, the Amsterdam rally was friendly and informative. Many of the participants carried creative signs ranging from the humorous to those drawing attention to the dangers of ignoring science. Signs by the MPI contingent were selected by international newspapers as being amongst the best worldwide, including the Guardian in the United Kingdom (here) and Boston Globe in the United States of America (here). MPI researchers also featured strongly in coverage on NOS (here).

 MPI Science Marchers

Photograph by Simon Fisher

Vinod Subramaniam, Rector of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam emphasised in his concluding address that a key goal of the March for Science is 'to celebrate the pursuit of knowledge and the scientific method – a passionate quest for truth, with objective facts as guiding beacons, and our sense of curiosity as the driving force.' The MPI looks forward to contributing further to this global movement, which champions science for the common good.


About MPI

This is the MPI

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.


Max Planck Institute
for Psycholinguistics


Street address
Wundtlaan 1
6525 XD Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Mailing address
P.O. Box 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Phone:   +31-24-3521911
Fax:        +31-24-3521213

Public Outreach Officer
Charlotte Horn

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