The need to protect and support academic researchers fleeing conflict zones and politically challenging circumstances around the world is urgent. These intellectuals are perceived as threatening to regimes and extremist groups and are targeted as a result. Their survival and that of their families often requires them to leave their home countries, which brings their research careers to a startling halt. And then, in the countries that eventually host them, these scholars struggle to gain access to or acceptance within the professional networks needed to sustain their research careers. This demoralising experience poses a serious threat to scientific discovery and undermines the rebuilding capacity of a country once the conflict or threat ends.

Against this background, throughout 2021, GYA members, alumni, and Office staff have worked together with writers and editors from the BBC StoryWorks and the International Science Council on an article on the work of the GYA At-Risk Scholars Initiative. The article features two GYA members, Eqbal Dauqan (University of Oslo, Norway) and Saja Al Zoubi (University of Oxford, United Kingdom), and their amazing journeys.

You can now visit the newly-launched multimedia hub #UnlockingScience and check out the resulting article “The scientific knowledge being lost to conflict”.

In addition to the At-Risk Scholars Initiative article, the International Science Council Unlocking Science hub features short films, audio-visual stories and a podcast to explore what science is doing to address the challenges of global sustainability.