We should we be thinking of the scientific world as part of a greater European identity and recognising that it is time for science to stand with the politics, social society and culture.
When we campaign about “Europe” or “European values”, we first need to specify the content of those values. The obvious option is to start with human rights, democracy and rule of law. We can further elaborate more about solidarity, tolerance, social cohesion, sustainable development and the ideas of the social contract. However, what is usually missing is the Idea of Progress, namely the idea that advances in technology, science and social organisation can produce an improvement in the human condition and societies. This is also a very European notion.
Thanks to that idea, Europe became the global leader in all breakthrough inventions of the 18th and 19th century, from the internal combustion engine to cinema. That idea remains pertinent in the 21st century as Europe is lagging behind North America and East Asia in several different areas: artificial intelligence, cyber-security, quantum computing, electric vehicles, biotechnology and many more. We must actively push all authorities, from the EU institutions to local municipalities, to focus a greater part of their agenda on cutting-edge technological solutions for their societies: Wider use of solar energy. Digital garbage collection. E-health for the poor. 3D printing for the small enterprises – just to name a few.
Pro-European campaigners must also be pro-science, pro-research and pro-knowledge campaigners.