Statement on scientific freedom and boycotts

23 July 2007

The Council of the Royal Society of Chemistry has discussed, and reaffirmed, its stance on the matter of academic freedom relating to political controversy.

The matter was aired as a result of the move towards an international boycott of Israeli universities.

The statement from the RSC council read as follows:

Statement on scientific freedom and boycotts

On the broad issue of boycotts of countries or institutions, the RSC has to be very careful not take a political view, because this is not permitted as a charitable body. However the RSC believes in free access and exchange on all scientific matters: conferences; publications and networking; and that politics should not interfere in the processes. We have taken the view that the RSC should not become involved in specific cases but should uphold the general principle of scientific freedom. This is an important principle for the Society.

Scientists should be free to collaborate, publish and undertake scholarly interaction unencumbered by political oversight.