All this week we will be sharing online dialogues on the theme of ‘Science in Exile’, as part of a regular series spotlighting issues relevant to the free and responsible practice of science in contemporary society.

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Writing in introduction to the series, ISC Vice-President for Freedom and Responsibility in Science Anne Husebekk, and Chair of the Committee for Freedom and Responsibility in Science (CFRS) says “It is our hope that the CFRS Spotlight Series will inspire and illuminate new ideas to advance the development of these strategies in the pursuit of an equitable, sustainable world“. 

The first edition of the Spotlight Series focuses on the issues facing at-risk, displaced and refugee scientists. An unprecedented number of people are currently displaced across the world (UNHCR), and among them are countless scientists, engineers, doctors and others with advanced training, as well as current students and early-career researchers who face serious disruption to their fledgling scientific careers.

“In the light of ongoing conflicts around the world, one of the major priorities for contemporary scientific organizations is the provision of support for at-risk, displaced and refugee scientists. This week’s Spotlight Series will explore the impact of unfolding emergencies and protracted crises on the global scientific community and will highlight the various ways in which groups and individuals can combat these challenges.”

Anne Husebekk, Vice-President for Freedom and Responsibility in Science (2022 – 2024), International Science Council (ISC).

All week, we will be highlighting content that helps to raise awareness of the issues facing scientists in exile, and provides practical guidance on how scientists and the organizations they represent – universities and research institutions, unions and associations – as well as research funders, NGOs and governments can help to create support structures for the scientists affected by displacement and exile.

A major milestone for the spotlight series was the launch of the Science in Exile Declaration “Supporting at-risk, displaced and refugee scientists: A call to action”, which outlines key commitments necessary at the global level for both immediate and long-term support and protection to scholars and scientists who are at-risk, displaced or refugees, so as to build a better future for them, and for science and society at large.

“The ongoing conflict in Ukraine is a stark reminder of the human tragedy of war and displacement, and that interrupted research careers and studies can have long-lasting global consequences for vital scientific research. Together, we must take action to help at-risk, displaced and refugee scientists to thrive.”

Peter Gluckman, President, International Science Council (ISC).

The Declaration has been developed in collaboration with scientists directly affected by exile and displacement, and has already been endorsed by organizations including Scholars at Risk (SAR), the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO), and by ISC Members including the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS).

Read and sign the Declaration

Supporting at-risk, displaced and refugee scientists: A call to action

Organizations wishing to add their support and endorse the Declaration can do so at the link above.

Spotlight on Science in Exile: Resources

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Spotlight on Science in Exile

Read the full introduction to the series by Anne Husebekk.

ISC Presents: Science in Exile

Podcasts featuring interviews with refugee and displaced scientists who share their science, their stories of displacement, and their hopes for the future.


Science in Exile: Supporting displaced, refugee and at-risk scientists

A blog exploring ongoing activities by the ISC and its network.

Information and resources relating to scientists in Ukraine

The Declaration was launched against the backdrop of war in Ukraine, which has destroyed universities and research institutes, and left many active scientists facing displacement and extended disruption to their research. At the links below you can find information from scholars currently based in Ukraine on their immediate needs, and offers of assistance and other resources from the global scientific community.

A call to ISC Members: how to assist displaced Ukrainian scholars

This blog highlights findings from the Young Scientists Council at the Ministry of Education and Science in Ukraine in a paper that assesses the current needs of Ukrainian scholars and requests assistance.

Statements, offers of assistance and resources on the current war in Ukraine

A regularly updated list of information from the international scientific community.

Find out more about the Science in Exile project

Science in Exile

This initiative is a collaboration between TWAS, the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and the International Science Council (ISC), under the umbrella of Science International. The programme brings together displaced scientists and existing organizations that provide assistance to affected scientists, to exchange ideas and best practices, identify gaps in building practical support programmes across different world regions, and raise awareness of the issue among governments, international agencies and the broader scientific community.

Image by Jacob Campbell via Unsplash (edited).


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