Coping with Crisis – Rescuing Academics in the 21st Century

Stephen Wordsworth (Council for At-Risk Academics)
Tuesday, 13 February 2024
Science Seminar Series

Around the world, thousands of academics are being forced to abandon their jobs and homes to seek safety elsewhere as a result of war, repression or prejudice.  They urgently need support to find a place where they and their families can be safe, and where they can continue their academic careers until, as many of them hope, they can one day return home.  

In the UK one organisation, Cara (the Council for At-Risk Academics), has been working for over 90 years to support academics who have been forced into exile.  Sadly, Cara is now busier than at any time since the 1930s.  Events in just the last three years in particular have greatly increased the number of academics seeking Cara’s help.  From 2020/21 to 2021/22, the number of applications to Cara went from 160 to 1,105; in the course of 2023, the number of Cara Fellows in placements has risen from 105 to over 170, with more arriving in the UK every week.  Cara has also worked from the outset with the British Academy-led ‘Researchers at Risk’ programme, set up in just a few weeks in 2022 in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has since helped almost 180 academics from Ukraine to take up places at UK universities and research institutes.  Meanwhile, Cara’s third regional programme, its ‘Syria Programme’ launched in 2016 for Syrian academics in exile in neighbouring countries, primarily Turkey, is still working actively with over 200 Syrian researchers, many of whom were also caught up in the devastating earthquakes in the Turkey/Syria border region in February/March 2023.  Cara also works with two counterpart organisations in the USA, and with another programme in Germany.

Cara’s Director, Stephen Wordsworth, will discuss what Cara does, describe the challenges the organisation has been facing in the last few years, explain how Cara and its 135 UK university and research institute partners have been able to respond, and outline how institutions and individuals can help.

This seminar will begin at 5pm in the Centre's Jerusalem Room. Prior booking is not required. All welcome.