11 June 2015

Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier announces at the Humboldt Foundation’s annual meeting an initiative for threatened scientists and scholars

Speaking to more than 600 Humboldt Fellows at the opening of the Humboldt Foundation’s annual meeting in Berlin, Foreign Minister Steinmeier praised the role that scientists and scholars play in current conflicts. Scientists and scholars from throughout the world who are in danger due to political reasons should receive more support from Germany in future, such as in the form of fellowships, the minister noted.

Flight and displacement continue to be among the biggest problems of our times, Steinmeier emphasised. Around the world, some 51 million people are on the move, trying to find protection against war and violence and against persecution and repression. “Scientists, students and intellectuals who express their opinions openly and courageously particularly find themselves in the line of fire. All too often it is these people’s academic work, their courage and their self-assertiveness that frighten the unscrupulous rulers. And that leads to them becoming targets of state violence”, Steinmeier said. At the same time, it is these dedicated people who are particularly crucial for building and developing their countries, he noted.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s annual meeting brings together international researchers from a wide range of countries and disciplines who are currently guests at a German university through a fellowship from the Humboldt Foundation. The annual meeting revolves around bringing Humboldtians together (who bring their spouses and children with them as well) and encouraging exchange between them.

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