Committee on International Freedom of Scientists

The membership of the Committee on International Freedom of Scientists consists of nine (9) persons selected by the Committee on Committees and appointed by the President-Elect to staggered three-year terms. The President-Elect appoints the Chair from among the members. This Committee is responsible for monitoring concerns regarding human rights for scientists throughout the world. It apprises the President, the Board and Council of problems encountered by scientists in the pursuit of their scientific interests or in effecting satisfactory communication with other scientists and may recommend to the President and Council appropriate courses of action designed to alleviate such problems.

Chair: Don A Howard (01/16 - 12/17)
Univ of Notre Dame

Member: Vladimir Mirnov (01/16 - 12/18)
Univ of Wisconsin, Madison

Member: Surajit Sen (01/15 - 12/17)
State Univ of NY - Buffalo

Member: Robert S French (01/17 - 12/19)

Member: Lucas F Hackl (01/17 - 12/19)
Pennsylvania State Univ

Member: Joel L Lebowitz (01/16 - 12/18)
Rutgers Univ

Member: Prof Usha Mallik (01/16 - 12/18)
Univ of Iowa

Member: Shelly Rae Lesher (01/17 - 12/19)
Univ of Wisconsin, LaCrosse

Joseph Birman (1927 - 2016), Former CIFS Chair

CIFS notes with great sadness the passing of Joseph Birman, former chair of CIFS and winner of APS's Sakharov Prize “for tireless and effective personal leadership in defense of human rights of scientists throughout the world."

CIFS owes him our thanks for his advocacy for Jewish scientists in the former Soviet Union who were not permitted to immigrate. His personal commitment to his colleagues at a time when they were isolated and in need is admirable, and this has inspired many of us to follow his lead and advocate for the rights of scientists.

We are also grateful for Professor Birman’s service and contributions to our committee, CIFS, which he chaired in 1993. Without his efforts, CIFS would certainly not be what it is today. We may face different challenges, but the lessons learned under his leadership guide us as we work to assist scientists in need. We will strive to honor his legacy by continuing our advocacy for the rights of scientists everywhere.  

Learn about the Committee's work
Gray arrow CIFS Poster

Read about some of the human rights cases that CIFS monitors.
Gray arrow  CIFS Human Rights Cases

Friends of CIFS Listserv
Keep informed of CIFS's activities through occasional emails
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CIFS in APS News

Gray Arrow  CIFS Briefs, August/September 2016
Gray Arrow  CIFS Briefs, January 2016
Gray arrow  CIFS Briefs, March 2015
Gray Arrow  "Retrial Granted to Jailed Iranian Physicist," November 2014
Gray Arrow  CIFS Briefs, July 2014
Gray Arrow  CIFS Briefs, January 2014
Gray Arrow  CIFS Briefs, October 2013
Gray Arrow  CIFS Briefs, June 2013
Gray Arrow  CIFS Briefs, January 2013
Gray Arrow  CIFS Briefs, August/September 2012
Gray Arrow  CIFS Briefs, May 2012

Human Rights
Gray arrow   Resources & Links

Senior Staff
Amy Flatten, APS

Committee Administrator
Michele Irwin, APS