Permanent Insecurity: A Science International strategy to support displaced and refugee scientists and science students

September 3, 2020 8:30 - 10:00

Location: Room 28H


In recent years, thousands of scientists, engineers, medical professionals and advanced science students have fled from conflict zones to adjacent countries and to Europe. Soon, however, they find a new challenge: lives of ongoing insecurity. Though Europe's science and scholarly community has shown great generosity, many displaced scientists struggle in their new countries. Support programmes are scattered and fragmented, and vary widely in scale and focus. Even good programmes are too often unknown to those who need them. They typically provide support for no more than two years, and so the insecurity continues long after the scientists, students and their families escape the immediate dangers of conflict. Science International convenes three high-level global science bodies: –The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) – based in Trieste, Italy, and under the administration of UNESCO; –InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) – a global network of merit-based academies of science and medicine; and –International Science Council (ISC) – based in Paris, and established in 2018 from the merger of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Social Sciences Council (ISSC). In mid-2018, the partners of Science International and a range of stakeholders from both South and North began to explore the programmatic and policy solutions. 'At ESOF 2020 in Trieste, speakers will provide different perspectives on the topic and begin to address the provision of more long-term support.The partners hope to obtain new input, expand their base of allies, and raise awareness among governments, international agencies, funders, the broader scientific community and others about the need for action. The ultimate goal: science diplomacy for more cohesive, coordinated national, regional and international responses to the needs of displaced scientists so that their skills are preserved and enhanced while in exile. These skills will be essential to help rebuild their countries when the conflicts end. 

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