The World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) is deeply concerned about the impact of the war in Ukraine on both science and those who report on and write about science. We fear for the physical safety of journalists, communicators and researchers, and their ability to fully engage with their work without threats of reprisal.
The WFSJ, which has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, comprises 69 member associations across the world, representing more than 15,000 individual science journalists, writers and communicators. Many of them are from countries that have current or recent experience of war.
War is a violent disruption to peoples’ lives, and it obstructs the essential work of scientists and journalists. It impacts the quality of journalism and the safety of our members, who are key players in civil society and democracy. It disrupts the scientific research that is key to progress. It disrupts free communication, collaboration and access to data. It disrupts communication around science, essential information that citizens can use to make decisions about anything from technology to health.
In our current reality, war has interrupted global efforts to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, as attention has swiveled from virus to war. After more than a week of military conflict and media restrictions, violence is escalating, media outlets are subject to censorship, and a humanitarian disaster is unfolding in front of us.
We support negotiations for peace, a peace that is just and fair and serves all human beings. We stand by the members of our community who continue to work in extremely difficult environments. We hope that international diplomatic efforts will soon result in a peace agreement, so the massive destruction can stop and the healing can begin.