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‘Do not comment on Ukraine’, South African government cautions public science institutions

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

Endangered Scholars Worldwide calls attention to and is opposed to the attempt by the South African Department of Science to caution South African scientists from speaking out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The South African government has insisted on maintaining its ties to Russia, especially their several science partnerships, despite its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. One scientist commented to Research Professional News, “They seem to be concerned their subsidiaries might join the global outcry against Russia and support for Ukraine that other academic institutions around the world have rallied around”.

Some South African universities have openly declared their opposition to the invasion. They reject the government’s attempts at censorship and vow to stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. We, at Endangered Scholars Worldwide, condemn this attempt to restrict the expression of opposition to the invasion of Ukraine by scientists and urge the Department of Science of South Africa to reaffirm its commitment to academic freedom and free expression so essential to all of scientific research.

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