In response to recent calls initiated by some European academics to boycott Israeli scientists and the Israeli scientific community, the APS Council has passed a statement reaffirming its "commitment to maintaining open dialogue and promoting cooperation among scientists throughout the world. The APS strongly opposes attempts to isolate any scientific community."
The Society's position is based on a November 12, 1989, Council statement on the international nature of physics and international cooperation, the preamble of which states: "Science belongs to all humanity and transcends national boundaries. As in the past, science can serve as a bridge for mutual understanding across political and ideological divisions and as a vehicle for the enhancement of peace. In particular, APS believes that it is important at this time to strive for more open dialogue among scientists to enhance international cooperation."
The APS also endorses the statement issued on August 27, 2002 by the International Council for Science (ICSU), in support of the Israeli scientific community. That action was taken in response to the dismissal of two Israeli scholars from the editorial boards of two U.K. journals, as well as other attempts to foster an academic boycott of Israeli scientists, events the ICSU deemed "a flagrant breach" of its long-held principle of the universality of science. "Intellectual communities worldwide are in the business of fostering international understanding and cooperation, not of penalizing each other for the shortcomings of their government," the statement concluded.
The full text of the ICSU statement can be found at http://www.icsu.org/Library/Central/Statem/israeli-schol.html.
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Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette