Stockholm Charter for Academic Freedom
Academic institutions are increasingly confronted with economic and political challenges. These issues require immediate and decisive action. Institutional and individual academic freedom are fundamental prerequisites to conduct free research and education based on scientific principles.
In May 2023, young academies from across Europe convened in Stockholm to develop a unified Charter for Academic Freedom. The Charter can be signed by young academies in all countries. A commitment to the Charter is a commitment to the safeguarding of freedom of academic teaching, research, and dissemination.
To meet the economic, institutional, and political challenges that academia faces, we call upon our governments and institutions for science and higher education to protect academic freedom and its attendant rights:
- Freedom of teaching: The freedom of scholars to determine educational content, learning methods, and forms of evaluation.
- Freedom of research: The freedom of scholars to define research questions and pursue these using the research methods of their choosing.
- Freedom to disseminate: The freedom of scholars to engage in evidence-based communication with colleagues, scientific communities, and the wider public and to freely choose how to do so.
Safeguarding these freedoms requires:
- Protection in law;
- the availability of funding for curiosity-driven research, in parallel with other types of funding;
- sufficient resources for a functional work environment;
- a transparent, independent, and scholar-led recruitment process;
- the availability of secure and permanent employment;
- shared governance, i.e., the right of scholars to participate in the decision-making in their institutions.
We recognize that academic freedom is not absolute and comes with responsibilities, including adhering to professional and ethical standards. Academic freedom comes with an obligation to create an inclusive, collegial, and responsible academic community, conducive to curiosity and exchange.
Through this charter, we commit to a vision of a free academia.
The young academy movement
A Young Academy is an organization comprising young researchers and scholars who are early in their independent careers. These individuals are chosen based on the outstanding impact of their research. They hold membership for a fixed period, usually 4-5 years, after which they are designated as alumni of the academy.
The primary role of Young Academies is to represent the interests of young scientists, focusing on matters crucial to them, such as science education and fostering communication between the scientific community and the broader society. Most Young Academies operate under the umbrella of a larger, established Science Academy. Photo (right): Erik Thor/SUA