Committee for Freedom and Responsibility in Science

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.

Peter Gluckman

(ex officio)

Salvatore Aricò

(ex officio)


CFRS monitors individual and generic cases of scientists whose freedoms and rights are restricted as a result of carrying out their scientific research, and provides assistance in such cases where its intervention can provide relief and support activities of other relevant actors. In addition to this, members of CFRS are involved in a range of projects involving international partners and other Committees within the ISC.


The New Zealand government has actively supported CFRS since 2016. This support was generously renewed in 2019, with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, supporting CFRS via CFRS Special Advisor Gustav Kessel, based at Royal Society Te Apārangi, and by Dr Roger Ridley, Director Expert Advice and Practice, Royal Society Te Apārangi.

The work of the CFRS is supported by:

Vivi Stavrou

CFRS Executive Secretary & Senior Science Officer
vivi.stavrou@council.science

Gustav Kessel

Gustav Kessel

Special Advisor to the Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in Science
gustav.kessel@council.science

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