Charter of Scientists for Future

Scientists for Future (S4F, also Scientists4Future) is a non-institutional, non-partisan, interdisciplinary association of scientists committed to a sustainable future. 

Scientists for Future responds to the historically unprecedented climate, biodiversity and sustainability crisis which is confronting humankind with global challenges. The necessary transformation processes require decisive and immediate action. This has to happen on political, economic, technical, social, cultural, scientific and personal levels. Time is of the essence. As scientists, we see it as our duty to raise our voices publicly and proactively. 

The initiative sees itself as the voice of science: contributing to factual political discussions and building bridges to promote dialogue and facilitate insight. It brings together the skills, knowledge and experience of scientists from a wide range of disciplines. Although the meaning of the English term ’scientist‘ is limited (and therefore excludes many scientific and academic fields), theorists and practitioners from all disciplines are explicitly included, as it is described in our mission statement in GAIA

“We consider it necessary to form an alliance that goes far beyond specialists in climate and biodiversity science, sustainability, social science, or engineering. We will not achieve a sustainable future without, for example, including aspects of political participation, education, gender, and justice issues (including climate justice). We need the diverse gifts, experiences, and insights of all disciplines to solve the unprecedented problems that humanity is facing.”
In addition to the paragraph cited above, other parts of the jointly drafted statement and supplementary reflections in GAIA (starting with „In the increasingly complex…“) also serve as a basic consensus for our joint action.

What we do

Scientists and scholars involved in Scientists for Future advise groups and individuals from Fridays for Future and other movements committed to a sustainable future. They also engage in proactive science communication. Examples include information events in schools, universities, businesses and public spaces, activities in traditional and digital media, and participation in panel discussions and other events.

Scientists for Future actively translate the current state of science to the social debate on sustainability and a secure future in a scientifically sound and intelligible form. In this way, they support the political process and decision-making for the future. 

They evaluate current developments on the basis of scientific analysis. They shed light on interrelationships, possible conflicts of objectives, and different interpretations of study results. They decisively counter false claims – especially if they are used to discredit steps towards sustainability or climate protection.

Scientists for Future compile, name, explain and evaluate the needs and options for action to achieve climate, environmental, and sustainability goals. They raise their voices when proposals for action based on scientific findings appear to be unreasonable or counterproductive. They draw attention to ethical issues and the consequences of different options for action.

Scientists for Future are careful to remain non-partisan and do not form a political interest or campaign group. They avoid aggressive campaign language and ensure to the best of their knowledge and conscience  that their statements and actions are supported by scientific studies and that personal opinions are marked as such. They do not draw up specific lists of demands or political programs on behalf of Scientists for Future but are in a position to subject political programs to a scientific evaluation with respect to their impact.

As far as possible, they make their findings available under open licenses. They network and engage in interdisciplinary and international activities.

How we work

S4F is a decentralized, self-organizing grassroots movement. It is established in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and it networks with corresponding initiatives in other countries. 

The cooperation takes place in the following teams:

Participation in S4F is open to all trained scientists and scholars who are committed to the S4F Charter and the objectives of the original S4F statement. Requirements are academic titles (PhD, Dr., Prof. etc.), a graduate degree (Master, Diploma etc.) or professional contributions as (co-)author in a scientific publication. In the first founding phase before 22 March 2019 declaration of participation in S4F was made by signing the S4F statement (list now closed). Now, participation takes place by recognition of this Charter and cooperation (http://s4f.world/mitmachen/) in a thematic project or by inclusion in a regional/local group (http://s4f.world/mitmachen/regionalgruppen/). Interested students and other persons who are not trained academics as defined above may be admitted to regional/local groups with the status „supporter“. 

Information on cooperation, use of names and logos, forms of action, publication and communication is available on internal pages. In particular, names ( „Scientists for Future“, „Scientists4Future“ or „S4F“) and logos of the initiative are not to be used in the context of advertising for economic and party-political activities.

Scientists, scholars and supporters of Scientists for Future take seriously their responsibility to do their utmost to contribute to a good future for present and future generations. Conflicts between scientific neutrality and political influence can not always be avoided. As established in this Charter and our statement of March 2019, we support and will actively inform and promote demands and non-violent actions. The use of our logos and banners at such events is in line with the spirit of Scientists for Future. This does not mean that Scientists for Future as an initiative fully supports all the demands of any particular local action or protest, but that the participants are active in Scientists for Future and personally support this action.

The most important thing is:

We research and act.
We are courageous and we enable change! 

(© Scientists for Future 2019, CC BY-SA 4.0; This version of the Charter was initially adopted by a large majority within the German speaking S4F community in a vote held between 8 and 15 September 2019. The S4F Charter continues to evolve. In particular, it may need further adaptation to specific regional circumstances outside of the German speaking countries and outside of Europe.)