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"Science is one thing, facts are another": the excitement over Gerhard Karner's statement

“Science is one thing, facts are another”: the excitement over Gerhard Karner’s statement

In an interview with The Standard, Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP) defended the campaign aimed at preventing refugees from coming to Europe. Compare science and facts.

‘Root themes’ must be part of a A new campaign for the Austrian Ministry of the Interior In the countries of origin of potential asylum seekers, prevent people from emigrating. They want to provide a “counter-telling of the people-smuggler gangs’ stories,” as Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP) explains in “”hypotheticalTopics will be placed in countries such as India, Morocco, Tunisia and Pakistan.


In countries where there is a high chance of asylum or subsidiary protection – such as Syria or Afghanistan – articles should not be published. But there was a similar campaign in Afghanistan in 2016. Standard journalists confront the interior minister with the fact that the number of people coming from Afghanistan has not yet been said.


‘The facts are different’


Gerhard Karner answers: “Empiricalism is one thing, science is another.” “The truth, for whatever reason, is that after 2016 the number of asylum seekers has dropped dramatically,” says Karner. But that was not the case in Afghanistan, Standard reports. Karner explains that this is why the campaign is now “adapted” and no ads are shown in Afghanistan.

Karner is now receiving heavy criticism for his statement comparing science to facts: “In science, facts are used to prove the validity of assumptions,” one user explains to the minister. Another user criticized “Mr Karner clearly has not yet realized that the science is based on facts”.

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“The whole interview is one defeat,” says Juta Lang, refugee counselor.

“Our BReg is surprised on the one hand that ‘anti-science and massive rejection of facts are now common in general’ and on the other hand we put forward sentences like ‘science is one thing and facts on the other’ to justify human-hatred politics,” notes communications scholar Jacob Moritz Eberl.