The world is currently witnessing the highest numbers of forcibly displaced people on record. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, at the end of 2020, 82.4 million were forcibly displaced worldwide according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The Science in Exile Initiative is designed to contribute to support the science and policy communities, mitigate the struggles these scientists endure, and ensure that they are able to pursue their research and training.
As highlighted by the 2021 UNESCO Science Report chapter “The integration of refugee and displaced scientists creates a win–win situation": the international community must ensure that those scholars’ skills and training do not go to waste and that they preserve and develop their expertise, both for their sakes, and for the benefit of their home and host countries. Not only they represent an invaluable asset for the entire global scientific community, but their expertise, in time, will be critical for rebuilding their home countries. The loss of scientific knowledge, systems and data resulting from the displacement of scholars and scientists has grave implications for national and international science.
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