In light of recent developments in science in the US, around 40 European research organisations have signed an Open Letter calling on European governments and the EU Commission to maintain the principles and values that “underpin scientific progress, to work with their counterparts in the US administration to maintain a global science system based on these principles and to take any measure at the national and European levels to preserve and increase the world’s scientific and research capacity”. The signatories to the letter includes Science Europe, of which the FNR is a member organisation.
Please see the letter, titled ‘European science organisations: maintain transparency, open communication and mobility of scholars and scientists’ below:
“We, as European organisations involved in science (which for us includes the social sciences and humanities), research, education and innovation, benefit from and wish to defend the open exchange of ideas and people, which constitutes the foundation of scientific endeavour.
From our multiple contacts with scientists, researchers and organisations in the USA and around the world we are aware of the anxiety among our colleagues concerning the impact of the ongoing policy reorientation under President Donald Trump and his administration. We are particularly concerned about the following developments:
– The Executive Order discriminating against persons because of their nationality
– Indications that government scientists might be affected by new administration policies limiting their communication with the press, policymakers or society at large, and that government scientists would require permission from superiors to publish;
– The unwarranted credibility to views not based on facts and sound scientific processes and evidence in areas such as climate science or the safety of vaccines.
All of these are at odds with the principles of transparency, open communication, mobility of scholars and scientists, which are vital to scientific progress and to the benefit our societies, economies and cultures derive from it. Restrictions on research, scientists and research centres in inconvenient areas have no place in science.
Our colleagues working in the US will suffer, the United States and US citizens will pay a price, as will Europe and Europeans, and countries and people all across the globe. Facing unprecedented challenges the world needs solid science and research resulting from an open scientific process in which scientists, researchers, students and innovators can freely exchange approaches and results, and can move from country to country to study and work where their contributions are most
We call upon European governments and the European Commission to uphold the principles and values that underpin scientific progress, to work with their counterparts in the US administration to maintain a global science system based on these principles and to take any measure at the national and European levels to preserve and increase the world’s scientific and research capacity. These principles and values have been and will remain vital for our societies, economies and cultures to flourish.”