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Guest Editorial

Please Help Afghani Scientists
by Prof. Teresa Lago, General Secretary,
International Astronomical Union

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is profoundly concerned by the current events in Afghanistan and fears adverse consequences to its scientific community, most notably continued access for women in science and access to education for girls.

We have been receiving reports of the dire circumstances and numerous requests for help from our colleagues, who in this time of crisis fear for their lives for no other reason than that they are upholding scientific principles and furthering scientific knowledge. Their freedom, security and wellbeing are under threat.

The IAU's mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development through international cooperation. Whereas the IAU does not wish to influence the political decisions of any country, it is concerned about the potential adverse consequences to its community. Triggered by the life-threatening situation in which our colleagues find themselves, the IAU wishes to encourage its members and National Members to publicly denounce any action that endangers or threatens their wellbeing and to pursue any protective action of our colleagues in need. The IAU also strongly encourages our National Members and other colleagues to help wherever possible in this difficult time for Afghanistan.

The IAU would like to strongly reaffirm its adherence to the ISCU Principle of Universality of Science, which “requires freedom of movement, association, expression and communication for scientists […] and opposes discrimination based on such factors as ethnic origin, religion, citizenship, language, political or other opinion.”

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in editorials are those of the individual authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of The SETI League, Inc., its Trustees, officers, Advisory Board, members, donors, or commercial sponsors.

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