Committee for Freedom and Responsibility in Science case report 

An update on 2021 activities relating to cases.

Committee for Freedom and Responsibility in Science case report 

The Committee responded to freedom and responsibility cases in Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, China/Hong Kong, Egypt, Fiji, France, Greece, India, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Russia, Singapore, Turkey, UK, USA and Venezuela in 2021.

In addition, the CFRS responded to global issues, such as statements in support of scientists targeted due to their work on the COVID-19 pandemic, and on collaboration with Indigenous peoples in decision-making about research.

The Committee’s mandated engagement in this area is prompted by alerts from ISC Members and the broader scientific community, and is underpinned by international human rights instruments relevant to science and scientists. Knowledge Sharing webinars were held with ISC Members to discuss concerns for scientific freedom around the world, to provide advice on the Committee’s procedures for addressing threats to scientific freedom and to familiarize members with the CFRS advisory notes and position statements that were updated in 2021. The latter cover conference and event boycotts; visas and online accessibility; and responsibilities for preventing, avoiding and mitigating harm to researchers undertaking fieldwork in risky settings.

The New Zealand government has actively supported the CFRS since 2016. This support was generously renewed in 2020 for a five-year period, with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment supporting the CFRS via CFRS Special Advisor Frances Vaughan, based at Royal Society Te Apārangi, and by Roger Ridley, Director Expert Advice and Practice, Royal Society Te Apārangi.

Next: A contemporary perspective on the free and responsible practice of science in the 21st century

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