Committee for Freedom and Responsibility in Science

The Principle of Freedom and Responsibility in Science is fundamental to scientific advancement, and to human and environmental wellbeing. This principle underpins all of the Council’s work, and is overseen by the Committee for Freedom and Responsibility in Science (CFRS).

The Committee promotes freedom for scientists to pursue knowledge and to freely exchange ideas, at the same time as advocating the responsibility of scientists to maintain scientifically defensible conclusions, and of scientific institutions to apply high standards.

Daya Reddy

South Africa

Daya Reddy holds the South African Research Chair in Computational Mechanics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Following undergraduate studies in civil engineering at the University of Cape Town and a Ph.D. degree at Cambridge University in the UK, he spent a year as a postdoctoral researcher at University College London, then returned to the University of Cape Town, where he held a joint position in civil engineering and applied mathematics. He was appointed professor of applied mathematics in 1989. From 1999, he served a seven-year term as dean of the faculty of science.

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Saths Cooper

South Africa

A close associate of the late Steve Biko, Cooper played leadership roles in the anti-apartheid struggle in the late 1960s as well as the advent of democracy in South Africa (SA) from the early 1990s. Banned and house-arrested and jailed for 9 years – spending 5 in the same Robben Island cell-block as Nelson Mandela – he was declared a ‘victim of gross human rights violations’ by SA’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  He is a graduate of the Universities of SA, Witwatersrand and Boston, where he obtained his PhD in Clinical/Community Psychology as a Fulbright Fellow.

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Richard Bedford

New Zealand

Professor Richard Bedford QSO, FRSNZ is Emeritus Professor at the University of Waikato and at the Auckland University of Technology. He is the immediate past President of New Zealand’s national academy, the Royal Society Te Apārangi, and is currently a member of the Governance Boards of the Auckland War Memorial Trust Museum and the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

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Craig Callender


Craig Callender is a Professor of Philosophy at UC San Diego. His main areas of research and teaching include philosophy of science, philosophy of physics, and environmental ethics. His book What Makes Time Special? (Oxford University Press, 2017) won the 2018 Lakatos Award and his research won the 2018-19 Chancellor’s Associates Faculty Excellence Award in Research in Humanities and Social Science at UC San Diego.

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Enrique Forero


Professor Enrique Forero is President of the Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences, a position he has held since August, 2013. From November 2015 through November 2017 he was also President of the Council of Colombian Academies (Colegio Máximo de las Academias de Colombia). He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Inter American Network of Academies of Science, IANAS, from 2013 to 2019.

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Robin Grimes

United Kingdom

Robin Grimes is Professor of Materials Physics at Imperial College and was Founding Director of the Centre for Nuclear Engineering. In his research, he uses computer simulation techniques to predict the behaviour of materials for energy applications including nuclear fission and fusion, fuel cells, batteries and solar cells.  Robin is a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering. 

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Cheryl Praeger 


Cheryl Praeger is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the University of Western Australia. After her undergraduate studies at the University of Queensland, and completing a DPhil degree at the University of Oxford, she spent two years as a Research Fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, and a semester at the University of Virginia in the US, before taking up a lectureship at the University of Western Australia in 1976.

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Sawako Shirahase


Sawako Shirahase is Professor of Sociology in the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, the University of Tokyo. She received her DPhil. in Sociology from Oxford University. She has been at the East Asian Institute of Columbia University as a junior research fellow, Center for Japanese Studies and Social Research Center in Michigan University as a visiting scholar, Yale MacMillan Center, Council on East Asian Studies as a visiting fellow of Todai-Yale Initiatives.

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Peter Strohschneider


Peter Strohschneider is Professor emeritus for German Medieval Studies at Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) in Munich. From 2006 to 2011 he chaired the German Sciences and Humanities Council (Wissenschaftsrat), from 2013 through 2019 he was President of the Deutsche Forschungs­gemeinschaft (German Research Foundation). His engagement in national and international panels and committees includes the chair of the Board of Trustees of the Georg August University of Göttingen since the beginning of 2020. His research interest is focussed on the theory of textuality, medieval cultural studies, and research policy.

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Hans Thybo


Hans Thybo is a Professor of Geophysics at Istanbul Technical University, Turkey, and the University of Oslo, Norway. He holds degrees in Physics, Mathematics, and Geophysics. He has been visiting professor at Stanford University. He held positions at the University of Copenhagen for 30 years, where he built geophysics as a discipline at the Geological Institute and served as head of department for five years.

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Nadia Zakhary


Nadia Zakhary holds a B.Sc. (Biochemistry) from the faculty of Science, Ain Shams University, as well as M.Sc. and Ph.D.  (Medical Biochemistry) from faculty of Medicine, Cairo University

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