STATEMENT OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE

CALL FOR REPEAL OF A BOYCOTT OF ISRAELI UNIVERSITIES BY THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY TEACHERS

May 23, 2005

On several occasions in the past, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has stressed the importance of safeguarding free and open communication among scientists. The fundamental value of the international exchange of scholars and freedom of expression is embodied in international human rights treaties and conventions as well as in declarations adopted by scientific and other professional organizations throughout the world.

The AAAS Board of Directors declares its opposition to the resolution adopted by the British Association of University Teachers that calls on its members to refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, or joint projects with two universities in Israel. We urge its immediate repeal. We join others, both inside and outside the United Kingdom, who have condemned this boycott as counter to the positive role of free scientific inquiry in improving the lives of all citizens of the world, and in promoting cooperation among nations, despite political differences. In the context of the highly charged atmosphere of the Middle East, it is crucial to keep channels of communication open in order to foster a dialogue that is inclusive of all affected people. Free scientific inquiry and associated international collaborations should not be compromised in order to advance a political agenda unrelated to scientific matters.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the international journal, Science. AAAS was founded in 1848. It has over 120,000 individual members and 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals.