Scientific advice network invites Russians to join the European wing
Image: Quebec Research Fund
The International Network for Government Science Advice warmly welcomes Russian researchers
A global network linking science advisers to governments said it would create a European ‘chapter’ to its organization and expressly welcomed Russian and Ukrainian researchers, despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Rémi Quirion (pictured), the president of the International Network for Government Science Advice, said in a March 16 statement that Ingsa “categorically” condemned the invasion, but called on “researchers and policy makers in both countries to refrain from shredding important information, bilateral and even multilateral collaborations”.
Quirion, who is also Quebec’s chief scientist, said researchers fleeing the invasion must be able to continue their work and maintain their international networks. “To that end,” he said, Ingsa “prioritized the creation of a new European chapter within our suite of regional chapters, for all countries on the continent.”
He said: “The aim is to act as a bridge in skills development and capacity building towards better science advice and science diplomacy for all. Ukrainian and Russian members will be warmly welcomed.
Focus on individuals
Quirion told Research Professional News that the members would be individual scientists and trainees. Ingsa’s position is therefore in line with those taken by many other academic organizations around the world, which have cut ties with Russian organizations – especially those linked to the government or expressing support for the invasion – while praising and maintaining links with individual Russian researchers. who speak out against the invasion.
“As a non-governmental organization, Ingsa embraces the philosophy of creating and sharing best practices to overcome divisions and cultural or procedural differences that might otherwise divide us, to reach consensus on ways and means to promote a open and collaborative science,” Quirion mentioned.
“Ingsa will now proactively engage its members to further discuss concrete actions supporting like-minded Ukrainian and Russian researchers and peaceful science-led organizations in the field.”
Quirion said that keeping international networks functioning should be Ingsa’s “overriding objective”, and that “now more than ever, we must keep science, technology and innovation shared as the oxygen of the democracy and human progress” in the light of challenges such as climate change and biodiversity. loss.
Other pending relationships
Elsewhere, however, Russian scholars are finding it difficult to maintain their links with Europe. On March 17, the European Spallation Source, a major international research facility being built in Sweden, announced that it had “decided to freeze all current or future collaborations with institutions in the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus until further notice”. The government of Belarus supported the invasion.
The facility said this would include suspending the participation of Russian and Belarusian institutions and companies in ESS committees and workshops, as well as exchanging scientists with the institutions. His actions are in line with a call from the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures for Research Infrastructures to suspend engagement with organizations in Russia and Belarus.
Meanwhile, Research Professional News understands that a request from Ukraine for the Policy Support Facility of the EU R&D program to provide independent advice on how the country can improve its research and innovation has been suspended. An international team of experts was to assess Ukrainian research and innovation from February or March.