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12th CFRS Meeting (Mar 2012)

The Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science (CFRS) met on 5-7 March 2012. Prior to the meeting, Committee members discussed matters of common interest with representatives from the French Académie des sciences committees “Science, éthique et société” and “Défense des Hommes de Science” (CODHOS). At its own meeting, the situation of the scientific community in Turkey was raised in the context of freedom of science. CFRS also looked into the situation of academies in Montenegro.

A number of individual cases were reviewed, notably those of China, Iran, Israel, Russia, Turkey and Uzbekistan. The continued detention of Adlène Hicheur, without trial, in France for the past two and a half years was highlighted, as well as the successful or attempted assassination of four physicists in Iran since January 2010. CFRS also commented on a draft report by the “Independent Expert in the Field of Cultural Rights,” established by the UN Human Rights Council in 2009. Committee members further finalised two documents, one which describes its role in addressing human rights abuses of scientists and the other a revised set of guidelines on the organisation of international scientific meetings.

CFRS also made progress on an Advisory Note on “Academia-Industry Partnerships”, related to an international workshop in Sweden in November 2011, co-sponsored by CFRS and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Several topics were suggested for Workshops, among them a joint workshop with the UK Royal Society on “Valuing science in the digital age: alternative metrics for future science” to be held in September 2012. This was the last meeting of the present Committee, as two-thirds of its members would be replaced during 2012.

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