ann21044 — Announcement

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16 August 2021
Message from the IAU About the Scientific Community in Afghanistan

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is profoundly concerned by the current events in Afghanistan and fears adverse consequences to its scientific community, most notably continued access for women in science and access to education for girls.

We have been receiving reports of the dire circumstances and numerous requests for help from our colleagues, who in this time of crisis fear for their lives for no other reason than that they are upholding scientific principles and furthering scientific knowledge. Their freedom, security and wellbeing are under threat. 

The IAU's mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development through international cooperation. Whereas the IAU does not wish to influence the political decisions of any country, it is concerned about the potential adverse consequences to its community. Triggered by the life-threatening situation in which our colleagues find themselves, the IAU wishes to encourage its members and National Members to publicly denounce any action that endangers or threatens their wellbeing and to pursue any protective action of our colleagues in need. The IAU also strongly encourages our National Members and other colleagues to help wherever possible in this difficult time for Afghanistan.

The IAU would like to strongly reaffirm its adherence to the ISCU Principle of Universality of Science, which “requires freedom of movement, association, expression and communication for scientists […] and opposes discrimination based on such factors as ethnic origin, religion, citizenship, language, political or other opinion.

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The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 12 000 active professional astronomers from more than 100 countries worldwide. Its mission is to promote and safeguard astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.



Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Press Officer
Cell: +1 520 461 0433

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