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In protest against the Russian war in Ukraine

Open letter from researchers, students and friends of the Niels Bohr Institute protesting the Russian war in Ukraine. Niels Bohr Centennial Conference 2022

We, the undersigned attendees of the Niels Bohr Centennial conference, held in Copenhagen 2022, strongly condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and urgently call for an end to the bloodshed and destruction.

We stand against the brutal, unlawful, and inhumane attack on the independence of Ukraine and unanimously support the Ukrainian people in their choice of democracy and peace as opposed to autocracy and violence.

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Millions of people have fled Ukraine. Thousands of Ukrainian civilians staying behind, including children have died. Cities, universities, and research institutions in Ukraine have been destroyed. The tremendous destruction and suffering are worsening by the day.

Today, institutions in Ukraine and numerous Ukrainian colleagues show their absolute devotion and courage to stand by our shared values of democracy, freedom of speech, and open and respectful dialogue between sovereign states. Today, the people of Ukraine show what it is like to resist the plague of aggression on military, diplomatic, and humanitarian fronts.

As scientists and citizens of the world, we strive toward progress through research, communication, and cooperation. To support our shared social values and ensure scientific progress, we urge all responsible parties to stand with the Ukrainian people and our colleagues.

To funding agencies, we request to fund interim positions and joint projects to support Ukrainian students and researchers who flee their country or cannot return to their regular research because of the war.

To our colleagues with students and partners worldwide, we urge you to counter the Russian propaganda and spread the word of our values to scientists in Russian institutions and to those who have families in Russia.

We note the European Commission’s decision (4 March) to suspend cooperation with Russian entities in research, science and innovation. This includes new agreements with Russian organisations under the Horizon Europe Programme, and ongoing projects will be reviewed.

These actions should be directed towards official representatives of the Putin regime and not individual researchers, many of whom oppose Putin’s actions.

We urge the scientific communities worldwide to help in rebuilding the scientific society in Ukraine once this war is over. It is our hope that universities and funding bodies worldwide will find ways to support Ukrainian universities now and in the future.

As Niels Bohr stood up against the usage of scientific progress for violence and destruction, we stand united now to contribute to the long-standing cause and sign this letter of support.