Statement—Scientists’ freedom to work

NB: As of 16 August 2023, this position statement has been superseded by Position Statement—Freedom and Responsibility of Science.

June 2011

The Australian Academy of Science is firmly of the view that the interests of the community and the advancement of knowledge is best served by an environment where researchers can put forward views and present data for discussion and scrutiny free from threats of personal or professional harm.

The more controversial the area (such as climate change, evolution, gene technology, stem cells or nuclear power), the more important that any researcher should feel free to argue a case based on evidence without fear of reprisal. We know of examples where prominent researchers have been personally and professionally threatened by individuals and organisations that disagree with their findings and conclusions.

We reiterate our common defence of the principles of academic freedom: any researcher has the right and duty to argue a case based on evidence, because only public discourse and experimental challenge can advance understanding.

Read more: The Universality of Science and the International Council for Science's (ICSU) Statute 5.

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