Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Friday, April 18, 2014

Blinding with science (also disfiguring, disabling, maiming and murdering)



The Edinburgh International Science Festival is on at the moment. I've gone to quite a few of their events in the past: science is interesting stuff after all, and they often have really good speakers and demonstrations.

However, this year the festival numbers among its sponsors a company called Selex ES. Selex is an Anglo-Italian manufacturer of military drones which has also just been awarded a contract for surveillance equipment for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

I was going to suggest that readers sign the petition to have Selex dropped as a sponsor, but it has reached its target and closed. Still, it's the thought that counts:

We love Science!

We love seeing the amazing things science helps to create and understanding life on our planet and how to protect it. That's why it makes us sad that a company which profits from weapons which kill people across the world is sponsoring the Edinburgh Science Festival.

Weapons company, Selex, who sponsor the Edinburgh Science Festival, make drones, surveillance equipment and weapons targeting systems. Their products cause death and destruction around the world. Selex say they sponsor the fair in order to 'inspire the potential future workforce'. Is this the future children would choose?

Science should be about improving life, not taking it away. Please ask Edinburgh Science Festival to stop supporting the arms trade.


It does seem especially fucked-up that the Festival should be attempting to inspire children to go into science by bringing in a maker of death-dealing hardware. I mean FFS, this isn't Israel, where the only science that gets funding is defence-related stuff. Can we not inspire our kids to do something worthwhile, not simply to make machines to bomb the crap out of other kids in countries they couldn't find on a map? (Yeah, OK, they need more geography too.)

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