Committee for the Freedom of Scientific Pursuit

The Committee for the Freedom of Scientific Pursuit works to ensure that scientists have the freedom they need to pursue their scientific work. It is actively involved in assisting scientists abroad whose freedom to pursue their scientific work is severely restricted, for example by imprisonment or worse.

In consultation with networks of other academies, the Committee prepares the Academy’s letters to government leaders worldwide responsible for threatening and repressing scientists.

In recent years, the Committee has also addressed issues related to the freedom of scientific pursuit in a broader sense: Does the budget for research also allow for researcher-driven projects, what risks are associated with international scientific cooperation, is a sufficiently diverse spectrum of views represented in Dutch research, and how can we protect open debate at universities?

In early 2021, the Committee elaborated on the concept of academic freedom in its report Academische vrijheid in Nederland (Academic Freedom in the Netherlands). As a follow-up to this report, the Academy is organising debates on various subtopics, for example political and social engagement, online harassment of scientists, contract research and improper influence, scientific collaboration with unfree countries, and other current areas of friction.

Board and members

The current Committee members (03/22) are:

  • Verbeek, Prof. dr. ir. P.P.C.C. (Peter-Paul) (Chair)
  • D'Alessandro, Prof. dr. R.A.G. (Roberta)
  • Duyvendak, Prof. dr. W.G.J. (Jan Willem)
  • Gerards, Prof. mr. J.H. (Janneke)
  • Nollkaemper, Prof. mr. P.A. (André)
  • Saarloos, Prof. dr. ir. W. van (Wim)
  • Schermer, Prof. dr. M.H.N. (Maartje)

(The Members button below is outdated and unfortunately cannot be changed temporarily.)