News about Science in Exile initiative


  • The Science in Exile (interim) Steering Committee was established. More than 60 nominations were received and 12 members were appointed. They come from the academia, the scientific community and the non-governmental sector, and are internationally renowned experts, professionals and/or scientists - including displaced scholars - with exceptional knowledge and expertise in displacement/refugee/humanitarian issues, higher education and science, policy-making and/or advocacy. The role of the committee is to provide leadership to the initiative and oversee the implementation of its activities during an interim (one year) governance phase, and to encourage the growth of the initiative into an active international movement. The first meeting of the committee was held on 16 June 2021. Details on the Science in Exile Steering Committee and its members are available here.

  • The first webinar of the Science in Exile webinar series, "The unfolding emergencies: Ethiopia and Myanmar", was held on  22 June 2021. The webinar explored the impact of the unfolding emergency in Myanmar and the Tigray region of Ethiopia on scientists and science, hearing first-hand from local scholars and from experts on short-term strategies to uphold science and higher education in times of crisis. Register here for the second webinar on 28 July 2021: "Protracted situation of displacement: Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen". More information on the webinar series is available here.

  • Applications are open for the 2021 TWAS-IsDB Young Refugee and Displaced Scientists Programme for Women. The deadline is 20 August 2021.

  • UNESCO’s new Science Report, The Race against Time for Smarter Development includes The integration of refugee and displaced scientists creates a win–win situation. Written by Peter McGrath, Coordinator of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and the TWAS Science Policy/Science Diplomacy programme, and Edward W. Lempinen, a writer and media relations specialist at the University of California, Berkeley (USA) and former public information officer for TWAS, this chapter sheds some light on scientific communities affected by war, repression and dislocation.

  • The Science in Exile mapping survey has been launched. The deadline is 31 August 2021. The aim of the survey is to map organisations and programmes globally – e.g., NGOs, institutions, universities, diaspora groups, government bodies and funders - that provide support to and opportunities for at-risk, displaced, and refugee scientists. All those entities are invited to complete the survey.

  • The Call for applications to present in the Science in Exile panel at the Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2021 (SRI2021) is now open. The deadline is 21 May 2021. Eligible candidates should be early and mid-career refugee, displaced  and at-risk scientists working in the area of socio-environmental sustainability and resilience. Applications must be submitted via this form.

  • The Science in Exile launch workshop took place on 30 March, 1 and 12 April 2021. The workshop report can be downloaded here, while the agenda and information packet here.

  • The calls to join the initiative "Science in Exile" are now open for nominations to the (1) Steering Committee and (2) the Task Teams. (1) The Steering Committee provides leadership to the initiative. More information can be downloaded here. The call for nominations can be accessed here. The deadline for receiving applications is 17 May 2021. (2) The Task Teams will work together on (a) Advocacy Campaign, (b) Preservation of science in conflict and crisis, (c) Mapping and research, and (d) Supporting refugee, displaced and at-risk scientists. The sign-up form can be accessed here. The deadline is 7 May 2021.

  • Peter McGrath, Coordinator of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and TWAS Science Policy/Science Diplomacy Programme, and Sena Galazzi, TWAS Associate Programme Officer, have published an article on Volume 4 (3) of "Science Diplomacy". The article focuses on at-risk, refugee and displaced scientists. 

  • On 8 March 2021, Gender in Science, Innovation, Technology and Engineering (GenderInSITE), TWAS and IAP representatives discussed the gender dimension of refugee and displaced scientists at the World Forum for Women in Science. The session is available on YouTube

  • To launch the initiative and identify the priorities and objectives of a new strategy, the three organizations hosted a virtual workshop in October 2020, aimed to facilitate better coordination on this issue, which will hopefully lead to new forms of support for displaced scientists. 

  • Currently, the initiative is working towards building a network and developing an advocacy campaign to bring together scientists, policy-makers and organizations to address the needs of refugee and displaced scientists, aiming for a network launch in March 2021.

  • A special session at the 2018 World Social Science Forum in Fukuoka, Japan, highlighted the need for the international scientific community to address the number of threatened, displaced and refugee scientists worldwide. The session was organised by ISC, IAP and TWAS. 

  • In 2017, TWAS produced a special edition of the TWAS Newsletter on refugee and displaced scientists examining, among other issues, how difficult it is to grasp the full number of such researchers in the world.

  • In 2017, a workshop co-organised by TWAS produced a broad set of recommendations for supporting refugee and displaced scientists. They urge the creation of education and jobs for such researchers, and call for more research on the issue, assigning a key role to science organisations, universities, refugee organisations and other policymakers. This initiative is an attempt to put in place some of those recommendations. 

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