The Creation of a Free Scientists’ Movement Spring Symposium 2024

The Creation of a Free Scientists’ Movement Spring Symposium 2024

5-7 April 2024 / Gothenburg, Sweden

Open call

Academic freedom is under pressure across countries and across disciplines. However, the severity of the crises that societies face today call for researchers to create a more trustful and compassionate research environment where ideas and creativity can flourish more than they can today. The reason for this need is dialectic in the sense that it is difficult to pose the right questions or come up with the right solutions to the crises we find ourselves in – when we ourselves as researchers are bound by systems whose very logic has been the underlying driver of the crises. Therefore, we do not merely need minor corrections to the current system of academia. We need to find a path to free ourselves from the very logic that academia is encapsulated by today. Therefore, there is more than ever a need to come together across disciplines, universities, and countries to create a new collective movement of scientists.

Therefore, the aim of this study circle is to:

Create a free scientists’ movement that can lay the foundation for future cooperative universities and academic systems whose logic is based on an ethics of care and trust. It is a key priority of this study circle to explore – not just theoretically – but also physically and organizationally ways to create true academic freedom for researchers.

The NSU study circle on the creation of a free scientists’ movement will hold its Spring Symposium 2024 on April 5–7 in Gothenburg, Sweden in collaboration with University of Gothenburg. At the Spring Symposium with the title “Amo, Ergo Cogito”, the main objective will be to create a manifesto for the free scientists’ movement. The manifesto should contain some principles for the role and responsibility of science today, as well as describing the vision of an academic system based on an ethics of care. This could also include a description of the potential for making a cooperative movement among researchers and future universities.

There will be a ceiling on the number of participants around 30 to ensure effective writing sessions on the 6th of April. However, we will try to broadcast presentations from Keynote Speakers live to all who have registered on the 5th of April. Furthermore, we will organize a larger web-session the 7th of April where all registered that could not join the Spring Symposium in Gothenburg will get the opportunity to join online to see the manifesto, comment and will get information about the process ahead. Immediately after the Spring Symposium, we will share the manifesto widely and researchers are encouraged to join the movement.

Keynote Speakers: TBA

Price for registering: We are currently working to find funds to cover all participants costs.  

The deadline for registering is the 1st of February 2024. Please note whether you are interested in joining physically or only for the online sessions (5th of April and 7th of April). To register please fill out the following form:

In this form, we ask you to answer the following questions.

1)      What are the main challenges concerning academic freedom today?

2)      In your own words, how do you imagine “an academic system whose logic is based on an ethics of care and trust”? What would it look like?

3)      Under which conditions are you most likely to have new ideas? Please also mention in what situation you had your best research idea.

4)      Which areas and themes would be the most important to touch upon in a manifesto for the Free Scientists’ Movement?

The responses will be used to prepare the writing sessions and to prepare the overall framework of the manifesto.

Decisions on the participant list will be announced around 3rd of February 2024.

Furthermore, we encourage scholars to send in abstracts about academic freedom preferably with an edifying focus. However, analyses of the current state of academic freedom in various countries are also welcomed. The final papers will be gathered in a catalog that will work as a knowledge basis for the Symposium and the manifesto. The papers will be made available online. Submit your abstract (300-500 words) via email to Maria Toft: toftmaria[at] by 1st of February 2024. The deadline for sending in the final papers will be the 15th of March 2024. 

We are looking forward to getting started! Meanwhile, this quote can inspire for further action:

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” (Reportedly by Buckminster Fuller)

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