News about Science in Exile initiative


  • On 10 November 2021, on the occasion of the World Science Day for Peace and Development, The World Academy of Sciences (UNESCO-TWAS), the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and the International Science Council (ISC) come together within the framework of the Science in Exile initiative to advocate for the support and protection of at-risk, displaced and refugee scholars and scientists. The whole article is available here.
  • The fourth and final webinar in the Science in Exile webinar series, "Return of scientific personnel and reconstruction of infrastructure”, was held on 26 October 2021. The webinar presented case studies - Argentina, Iraq, Somalia and Sri Lanka - and discussed strategies on rebuilding scientific systems, infrastructures and communities, via first-hand experiences of scholars who returned to their countries after being displaced, and the perspectives of policy experts in this field. All webinars in the Science in Exile webinar series are accessible on the TWAS YouTube channel at:
  • On 30 September the Science in Exile initiative launched its podcast series. The podcasts feature interviews with refugees and displaced scientists who share their science, their stories of displacement, and their hopes for the future. The series has been developed by the International Science Council with its Science in Exile partners - The World Academy of Sciences (UNESCO-TWAS) and the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) - as a contribution to the Science in Exile initiative, and will feature members of the Steering Committee as well as other scholars involved in the initiative. The aim is to give a platform to displaced scientists to share their first-hand experiences, and to raise awareness of the issues faced by refugee, at-risk and displaced scholars. You can hear the series first by following ISC Presents on your podcast platform of choice, or by visiting
  • The Science in Exile mapping survey has been launched. The deadline is 31 October 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.
  • On 22 September 2021, Peter McGrath, Coordinator of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and TWAS Science Policy/Science Diplomacy Programme, and Sena Galazzi, TWAS Associate Programme Officer took part in the panel “Gender dimensions of scientific freedom, integrity, and mobility” at the Gender Summit.  Peter McGrath spoke about the Academies of Science as key instruments of science diplomacy, while Sena Galazzi about the gender dimension of refugee and displaced scientists and the Science in Exile initiative.
  • The Science in Exile (interim) Steering Committee was established in June 2021. 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 Science in Exile panel “Scientists in Exile: A meta-view of the impact of ongoing uncertainty and risks for scientists and the production of science”, held on 13 June 2021 at the 2021 Sustainability Research and Innovation Congress, is now publicly available at this link. The panel brought together three displaced scientists working in the area of socio-environmental sustainability and resilience.
  • 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.
  • Applications are open for the 2021 TWAS-IsDB Young Refugee and Displaced Scientists Programme for Women. The deadline is 20 August 2021.
  • 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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