Monday, January 18, 2010

Science and diplomacy

12 January. Science and diplomacy are closer than we think, argues David Miliband, UK foreign secretary, at the IAP General Assembly taking place at The Royal Society in London.

diplomacy also plays a crucial role in the exchange of scientists and the profusion of ideas through visa regulations and intellectual property rights agreements.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

IMU (International Mathematical Union) recalls the Visa Problems for Scientists (March-2009)

In a recent circular letter to adhereing organizations, IMU, points out the visa difficulties of scientists and emphasize on the ICSU's resolutions. See

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Publication in Nature by Declan Butler

Friday, November 14, 2008

Text from Freedom-Responsability-universality of science booklet of ICSU (International council for science )

The following text is from ICSU(International council for science) booklet in 2008.

Freedoms of scientists
Included in the Principle of Universality above are four specific freedoms for scientists—freedom of
movement, association, expression and communication. Defence of these freedoms is grounded in the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, particularly Articles 13, 19 and 20. Access to data, information
and research materials for science is also supported by article 27.

Freedom of movement

Problems in obtaining national entry visas are a relatively common obstacle to the freedom of
movement of scientists in various parts of the world. These entry visa issues are most frequently
associated with either security and/or politics and tend to be targeted at particular population groups.
There is also the problem of scientists who are not permitted by their national authorities to travel outside their own countries—generally out of fear that they will reveal embarrassing information about their country or that they might not return. Without careful monitoring and attention, there is a real danger that certain members of the global scientific community will become isolated.

ICSU and visas for scientists

ICSU and its Members have acted when scientists wishing to attend scientific meetings outside their countries of citizenship have been denied visas for political reasons. For example, in the 1970's and 1980's, ICSU actively defended ‘refusenik’ scientists who were denied exit visas from the former Soviet Union (and other Eastern block countries) to attend international scientific meetings with their colleagues in the West. During the 1980's ICSU
intervened on behalf of about 20−30 scientists per year. Examples of difficulties encountered include scientists in Taiwan who were denied visas by mainland China and vice-versa, Chinese scientists who had difficulties obtaining visas to Israel, Iraqis who were denied visas to Sweden and South Korea, Cuban scientists who were denied visas to the US and Australia, and scientists in Israel and South Africa who had difficulties obtaining
visas from a number of countries. ICSU, working with its Members, frequently intervened vis-a-vis the countries
refusing visas and, in the majority of cases, it was successful in reversing the initial refusal.
In some instances, ICSU has called for the relocation or cancellation of scientific conferences when visas have
been denied for political reasons. One notable case occurred in 1988 when ICSU General Assembly was held in China rather than Japan because the Japanese government advised ICSU that South African scientists would not be granted visas.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A possible publication of the situation in Nature

It seems that Dr. Declan Butler senior reporter at _Nature_, ( Web:
Blog: has intention to write an article about this matter (Visa problems of iranian scientists) for the journal. Of course we should collect more and more cases.
In fact he has a contact with french physician and has collected some cases about the visa descrimination of iranian researchers.
Please, if you know any more similar cases of visa obstructions (not just france), write here or send an email urgently to (send email in the case of French visa difficulties)

I strongly believe that we also should put the item of free circulation of Iranian scientists as an important discussion item of ICSU (International Council for science). We should mention the compromise and historical actions of ICSU with this issue.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Unesco: World science Day for Peace and development 2008

Well, even after more than 80 days waiting for french visa and tolerating the consequences of uncertainty in our life, we do not have any response from French embassy. I invite the people that may have similar problems to be prepared for such situations. That is why I divulge the situation that we are passing.

We are strongly convinced that: The solution is not to sit down and dream with the trivial (in particular radical) solutions.
Unfortunately, due to such visa restrictions, we see a significant number of third world scientists that are choosing the trivial solution of confining theirselves in their own ambients (which can be in eastern or western countries).

I invite every one to see the 2008 Unesco's World science Day announcement
or its previous celebrations and ask to contribute for putting the abusive Visa restrictions as a serious problem to be discussed in such opportunities. I strongly believe that an organization like ICSU (International council for science) or TWAS (Third world academy of science) should debate much more about help mechanisms (which has a wide spectrum) to the researchers of third world with circulation obstructions.

Ali Tahzibi