Refugee and displaced scientists

The project aims to increase international awareness of and attention to the issue of refugee and displaced scientists, through the establishment of a global network of institutions supporting them.

The world is currently witnessing the highest numbers of forcibly displaced people on record. Their migrations are driven by conflict, persecution, violence, political uncertainty, climate change and environmental degradation, and are unlikely to diminish in the coming years. Forced migration affects some of the world’s least well-funded science systems, with relatively low levels of scientific capacity, as well as countries such as Iraq and Syria, which have had strong science systems that are now largely destroyed.

Anticipated impact

Increased international awareness of and attention to the issue of refugee and displaced scientists, through the establishment of a global network of institutions supporting them.

Coordinated response to the increasing number of displaced researchers

Summary

This project will gather knowledge and lay the groundwork for a new, cohesive and coordinated response to the issue of displaced scientists. The collaboration is between The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (TWAS), the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and the International Science Council under the umbrella of Science International.

Key Milestones

The project was launched in June 2020 will involve an awareness-raising campaign dedicated to assisting scientists who have been rendered refugees or are otherwise displaced by crises in their home countries.

To lead the project, the collaboration hired Erin Buisse Consulting, a firm whose clients have included National Geographic and the University of Geneva. Erin Buisse, head consultant, has experience working with refugees, running awareness campaigns, and securing funds for the integration of refugees into national education systems.

Next Steps

  • Gather information on existing organizations that currently help displaced scientists;
  • Bring these organizations together online for exchanges of ideas and best practices;
  • Identify gaps in ways to help build a network of organizations interested in responding to the challenges displaced scientists face;
  • Raise awareness on the issues surrounding displaced scientists, and the impacts on their science, among governments, international agencies and the broader scientific community.

Funding Partner

Swedish International Cooperation and Development Agency, Sida.

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