Protecting Academic Freedom | Scholars at risk, scholars in exile: How can we strengthen and better protect individual freedom of research and teaching?

The opening event of the series „Protecting Academic Freedom” addresses both individual situations of academics and the existing and possible structures (e.g. institutions and initiatives) to support them. In addition, it looks equally at the threats to and protection of academics in the countries in which they work and in Germany, where they may have fled.

18 October, 2023, 5pm - 7pm | Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin | Wilhelm-von-Humboldt-Saal | Unter den Linden 8 | 10117 Berlin

What are the experiences of academics both local and in exile, and what forms of support do they need? What influence does the exile situation have on their research? How can lessons learned from regional experiences in supporting academics be transferred internationally? What is the role of universities, university networks and local initiatives in protecting scientists? What structures exist and what are needed? What is the international situation of academic freedom?

The event will consist of a panel discussion with international scholars, followed by an informal exchange between the audience and the panelists and additional experts.

The panel will include Prof. Dr. Nazan Maksudyan (Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin), Prof. Dr. Viktoria Sereda (Virtual Ukraine Institute for Advanced Study) and Dr. Eylaf Bader Eddin (Forum Transregionale Studien), moderated by Anja Wehler-Schöck (International Editor, Tagesspiegel).

Joining them for the following lounge discussions will be Irene Bollien (Science at Risk Emergency Office), Prof. Dr. Tuba İnal Çekiç (Center for Comparative Research on Democracy Berlin/Off-University), Dr. Oksana Zaporozhets (Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies/Off-University) and Christina Rogers (Academics in Solidarity).

Thematic focus of the series

Scientific freedom is under threat worldwide. Free scientific thought and work is restricted in many countries and at many levels by individual and institutional attacks. Authoritarian regimes attack scientists and academic institutions and expose them to repression. These range from physical threats and violence to legal persecution and deprivation of academic positions to political influence on issues in research and teaching. The attacks hinder the universities and their employees in their important work – forward-looking research, the training of future leaders and the social communication of orienting knowledge. Therefore, the freedom of science must be secured and threatened scientists must be supported.

Event language: English.

The event is part of the series “Protecting Academic Freedom” by the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius and the Volkswagen Foundation in cooperation with the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Berlin State Library) and the Tagesspiegel.