This week, I have a story that published in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) that’s science-related but not really scientific. In fact, it’s a lot more emotional than my usual science stories: finding chemists and other scientists among the wave of incoming “migrants” to Europe.
Help for Refugee Researchers
Volume 93 Issue 47 | pp. 23-24 | Latest News
Web Date: November 23, 2015
European universities and governments are trying to find ways to connect migrants from Syria and beyond to the scientific community
The number of scientists among the refugees is most likely small, making it even harder to find people among the masses — Germany has accepted tens of thousands. Most are coming from Syria, but others are arriving from Serbia, Afghanistan and elsewhere. I live in Sweden, which was sixth on the list of places people were heading — until last month. A sudden surge in numbers as people heard that Sweden would be a good place to be. And today, the Swedish government tightened its rules, so that the welcome is no longer as warm.
Conditions European-wide were already set to change with the events in Paris on November 13. We shall see. In the meantime I hope to follow up with a few more installments in the next month or so. If you have met any scientists who have become refugees or sought temporary visas, in Europe, the US or elsewhere, please let me know if they might be willing to speak to me.
An earlier and very short policy piece of mine published back in October marked my entrée to science-related but not exactly science reporting. I had the chance to go to the UN meeting on the management of chemicals:
Attending the meeting was an immersion-like learning experience. The first day was overwhelming, filled with incomprehensible UN jargon. But several days in, after picking up many of the alphabet-soup acronyms and getting a handle on some of the rules governing how the discussion unfolded, I could finally see the attraction of watching international-level negotiations. Much like a sporting event, it became fascinating to watch all the parties jockeying to win, so to speak, in pushing their goals forward. We shall see if I have a chance to do this kind of reporting again. I will look forward to it with interest and trepidation.