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NIAS Standing Statement

Deliberation is the driving force behind scientific research and the production of scientific knowledge. Academic freedom and the safety of researchers are crucial in this regard. The Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS) places great value on curiosity-driven research. From this perspective, we strive to stimulate discussion and reduce the risk of academic self-censorship. In addition, we aim to serve the public interest by encouraging critical thinking and speech, disseminating knowledge and insight, and contributing to free and safe debate in the scientific community, and in society at large.

NIAS expresses its deep concern about all attacks and threats to research(ers). We condemn all oppression, manmade disaster, and scarcity of resources that impede the work of institutes for advanced study and their fellows, and empathize with all those at risk.

In such situations, as in the case of natural disasters, we strive to provide the support which is practically within our reach, and which is conducive to a healthy and safe research space for all. To secure such a safe space for our community of fellows, NIAS refrains from any public response to conflict, injustice or disaster as such. We will, however, speak out publicly if they are directed against or directly affect the academic mission we stand for.

We firmly believe in the academic and societal urgency of free and fundamental inquisitiveness by an inclusive community of fellows. As a result we are committed to supporting our fellows in their academic and social roles and responsibilities and are dedicated to ensuring their safety. We actively assist fellows when they encounter threats or intimidation during their stay at NIAS.

Fellows are supported by NIAS when they participate in public debate, provided they base their statements on scientific insights and remain within the boundaries of the law. It is important to highlight that statements made by fellows should not be interpreted as points of view of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, but as part of scholarly and public debates that are held both inside and outside the institute.