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Letter from Nobel Prizewinners

To: Members of the Association of University Teachers

London , United Kingdom

There is nothing more intrinsic to the academic spirit than the free exchange of ideas. This fundamental enables us to share our views, advance our thinking, challenge our premises and bridge our disagreements. In this aspect, academic freedom has never been the private property of a few and must not be manipulated by them. Therefore, mixing science with politics, and limiting academic freedom by boycotts is essentially wrong and should be strongly and promptly rejected.

We, scholars from various disciplines, who have devoted our academic lives to the advancement of human kind, would like to express our unequivocal support for the separation of science from politics. The Nobel Prize we were honoured to receive was granted without the slightest consideration of nationality, ethnicity, religion or gender. No other alternative is viable or desirable in the future and any deviation from this principle in academic life should not be allowed. Supporting a boycott against academic institutions will undermine rather then nurture these principles, and is therefore dangerous. It is our hope that academic reasoning will overcome political rhetoric.

 

Yours sincerely,

Professor Richard Axel

Developmental Biologist, Columbia University

Nobel Prize in Physiology, 2004

Professor Gnter Blobel

Cell Biologist, Rockefeller University

Nobel Prize in Physiology, 1999

Professor Aaron Ciechanover

Biochemist, Technion, Haifa

Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2004

Professor Johann Deisenhofer

Structural Biologist, University of Texas

Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1988

Professor David Gross

Physicist, University of California

Nobel Prize in Physics, 2004

Professor Tim Hunt

Biochemist, Imperial Cancer Research Fund

Nobel Prize in Medicine, 2001

Professor Dudley Herschbach

Chemist, Harvard University

Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1986

Professor Avram Hershko

Biochemist, Technion, Haifa

Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2004

Professor Gerarad t Hooft

Physicist, Utrecht University

Nobel Prize in Physics, 1999

Professor Daniel Kahneman

Psychologist, Princeton University

Nobel Prize in Economics, 2002

Professor Ewric Kandel

Neurobiologist, Columbia University

Nobel Prize in Physiology, 2000

Professor Aaron Klug

Chemist, Cambridge University

Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1982

Professor Walter Kohn

Physicist, University of California

Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1998

Professor Jean-Marie Lehn

Chemist, Collge de France

Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1987

Professor Erwin Neher

Neurobiologist, Max-Planck Institute

Nobel Prize in Physiology, 1991

Professor Stanley Prusiner

Neurobiologist, University of California

Nobel Prize in Medicine, 1997

Professor Steven Weinberg

Physicist, University of Texas

Nobel Prize in Physics, 1979

Professor Frank Wilczek

Physicist, MIT

Nobel prize in Physics, 2004

Shimon Peres

Nobel Peace Prize, 1994

Professor Ellie Wiesel

Nobel Peace Prize, 1986

Betty Williams

Nobel Peace Prize 1976

 

 


 

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