CONSEJO MEXICANO DE CIENCIAS SOCIALES

Protecting Science in Times of Crisis

International Science Council

Protecting Science in Times of Crisis
International Science Council. (February 2024). Protecting Science in Times of Crisis. https://council.science/publications/protecting-science-in-times-of-crisis DOI: 10.24948/2024.01

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

For more than a century, and increasingly in the past decade, scientists, academics and higher education institutions in crisis have been supported by international scientific organizations, science academies, representative organizations for higher education, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations. Their ability to offer temporary academic positions at universities and colleges, and to extend research grants, offers safety to displaced, refugee and at-risk scholars so that their research efforts are not lost, and they can keep working until conditions improve and they are able to return home.

This important collective activity has saved lives, protected families and sustained research efforts to fruition. However, as the range of crises facing the world proliferates, so do the numbers of people at risk, among them scientists and academics. Wars and disasters also have a severe impact on academic and scientific institutions, and on research infrastructure, libraries and data centres.

There is currently no shared understanding of how the global scientific community can respond to crises that affect science and scientists, or of how it can coordinate the  ebuilding of science systems affected by crisis. The global scientific community must move from merely reacting to crisis and become proactive in protecting scientists and research in an epoch of polycrisis. We must identify the gaps in current support mechanisms and develop new and more encompassing ways to protect scientists and research in times of crisis.

In this paper, we take stock of what we have learned in recent years from our collective efforts to protect scientists and scientific institutions during times of crisis. It expands our understanding of how the scientific community can prepare for, respond to and rebuild  from crises, with the aim of protecting and promoting scientific knowledge as well as scientists and their contributions to societ.

Executive Summary
Full paper

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