The World Academy of Sciences (UNESCO-TWAS) has banded together with the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and the International Science Council (ISC) to issue an imperative call to action in support of the growing number of scientists and scholars faced with threats of war, political instability, and human-made and natural disasters.
An online event on 20 April 2022 launched the declaration ‘Supporting at-risk, displaced and refugee scientists: A call to action’ with the support of a host of ‘pre-endorsers’, including the Global Young Academy, Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World and the Royal Society of Canada.
The declaration is part of the TWAS initiative Science in Exile, initiated in March 2021. It calls attention to both the tragic human aspect and the toll on science communities and research ecosystems when violence and persecution infiltrate our societies. With severe and existential challenges confronting our planet and populations, the expertise and skills of scientists are a vital resource that must be protected and nurtured.
The declaration outlines six Articles of Commitment:
1. Preserve the foundations of science and safeguard scientific enquiry, data and institutions.
2. Protect and support scientists and their work in the event of war and conflict, political upheaval and repression, natural and human-made disasters.
3. Support at-risk, displaced and refugee scientists to engage fully in advocacy and lobbying efforts; they are their own best advocates.
4. Develop mechanisms aligned to global standards that will identify and endorse the skills, knowledge and professional credentials of at-risk, displaced and refugee scientists.
5. Safeguard the next generation of scientists by providing support programmes for students and early-career researchers who have been displaced or are in exile.
6. Work towards rebuilding national scientific systems in the aftermath of conflict or disaster and support the voluntary, safe repatriation of scientists.
UNESCO-TWAS, IAP and ISC urge organizations from the scientific and humanitarian communities to join in their efforts.
Read the declaration:
To sign, please visit: