Europlanet Society Statement of Support for Ukraine
March 2, 2022

Europlanet Society Statement of Support for Ukraine

Dear Colleagues,

The news of the outbreak of war within the European continent is undoubtedly shocking to us all. Europlanet has established many collaborations with Ukrainian scientists, especially through the three facilities in the Europlanet Telescope Network that are located in Ukraine.

We express our solidarity with the Ukrainian people in general and our colleagues in the planetary science community in particular, and condemn the invasion by Russia in the strongest possible terms.

Science is universal and demonstrates the best traits of humanity, the ability to collaborate and form a ‘family’ working without borders, each member being respected for their skills and knowledge, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marital status, age, nationality or socioeconomic background. When members of our family are attacked, we grieve together. 

Europlanet is exploring all possible ways to provide practical help to our Ukrainian colleagues, particularly those who have been forced to travel into other European countries. For displaced colleagues needing support to travel within the EU, Europlanet can offer bursaries and mobility grants (please contact Members of our community, including the Austrian Academy of Science, the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange, have provided an excellent example by setting up support schemes for scientists in Ukraine to apply for a research stay to be able to continue their research. We urge you to discuss options with your own institutions and to contact your parliamentary representatives and governments to see what initiatives to support Ukrainian colleagues can be implemented, and to help us share details with the community.

Collaborations with Russian research institutes and researchers will undoubtedly now be restricted, despite years of joint ventures (for example on the ExoMars mission). Many of us have long standing links and personal friendships with Russian scientists. However, we strongly support the sanctions that are being implemented to try to stop the war and loss of life. 

We show our solidarity with everyone that has spoken out against the Russian invasion, and we urge members of the Europlanet community to take all possible efforts to show support for our Ukrainian colleagues and help to bring an end to this war – something that we all hoped would never be seen again in Europe.

Nigel Mason

President, Europlanet Society