We must actively protect science and the scientific community from attacks

We must actively protect science and the scientific community from attacks

On Saturday 16 October 2021, President Čaputová participated in the ESET Science Award ceremony in Reduta, Bratislava. 

In her speech the president stated that we have to resist the temptation to derogate, misrepresent and misinterpret the results of scientific work only because they refute our impressions or expectations and that we must actively protect science and the scientific community against intolerable attack. 

She highlighted that we have overcame the difficulties of the recent past thanks to science; however, the pandemic has also given strength to certain unwanted phenomena – the questioning of scientific knowledge and decreasing humility and respect for education. “A lack of knowledge in a given area gives many the courage to criticize. We are obsessed with the need to have an opinion, even when such opinion is not supported by knowledge.”

The president also emphasized that science was not only an optional alternative or social accessory, but one of the foundations of today’s world. 

“This is why I highly appreciate the fact that you do not withdraw your helping hand although certain people irrationally and painfully attack you and your families. I believe that most of the attackers are driven by fear of the unknown and frustration more than genuine hatred– frequently in virtual space – which however can be as painful as a direct attack.  And thus I would like to say I’m sorry.”

The president believes that the work and creative energy of the awarded individuals will become an inspiration for many others and growing generations of scientists from Slovakia with the desire to learn, to research and to excel. Developing a free and creative academic, economic and social environment which will be attractive for domestic and foreign scientific purposes, should be our life priority, according to the president. 

“We all want Slovakia to be successful, inventive, resilient and confident. This important award is without a doubt one of the best ways to move closer to this common goal.”

The entire text of the president’s speech is available at Speeches