Global Scientific Community Comes Together to Support Ukrainians
As Russia stunned the world by its invasion of Ukraine, the impact of this conflict was quick to reach the global scientific community. Many prominent organizations moved to sever links with Russian scientists and institutions – freezing resources, suspending funding, and ending collaborations. The list includes CERN, the Alliance of Science Organizations in Germany, and MIT. As more groups join the chorus of rebuke against Russia, we have also seen an outpouring of support from the scientific community for their Ukrainian colleagues.
Research organizations and universities from all over the world have stepped up by adding scholarships, fellowships, and jobs for Ukrainian researchers. Stockholm University, The University of Helsinki, The University of Chicago, Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, Tel Aviv University, and Taiwan’s Academia Sinica are among the ones who have extended their support. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences is working with Polish and Ukrainian academies to help displaced scientists, while many are collaborating with the aid organization, Scholars at Risk, to help researchers fleeing the crisis.
It’s not just larger organizations extending their support; individual researchers and labs have also come forward to help in whichever way they can. Social media has been instrumental in coordinating these efforts. The #ScienceForUkraine initiative started on Twitter by Sanita Reinsone, a researcher at the University of Latvia, has gained momentum, amassing huge support from scientists around the world. Members of the scientific community have also come together to create curated lists of jobs offered by research groups and labs offering support, with some even offering help with accommodation.
Even as millions of people are displaced, the extent of the damage to Ukraine’s research ecosystem cannot be ascertained at this point. However, the scientific community can scale up and continue its efforts to protect the lives and livelihoods of students and researchers affected by this war.