War in Ukraine, the Italian scientific community launches an appeal for peace

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The scientific community represented by the Italian Federation of Life Sciences (20 scientific societies, up to 10000 researchers; www.fisv.org) is deeply shaken by the unjustified and merciless attack on an independent and peaceful country such as Ukraine. We are deeply worried about what we are seeing, hearing and reading in the media, and about a possible escalation of the conflict. Because of our focus on the Life Sciences, we are particularly concerned about the direct and indirect costs of the military actions on the people of Ukraine,  and worry about the damage that will be caused  by military actions on the environment and on the infrastructures critical for human survival.

As a community of researchers and scientists, we consider science as an open, democratic, collaborative, collective and pacific endeavor. To support this statement, it is enough to mention that thousands of Russian scientists are protesting against the war promoted by their country and are joining a petition to stop the conflict (https://trv-science.ru/2022/02/we-are- against-war /). Among them the Nobel Prize in Physics Konstantin Novoselov, the former scientific advisor to the government Gorbachev Roald Sagdeev, and numerous members of the Russian Academy of Sciences including Valery Rubakov and Sergey Stishov.

The scientific quest for truth and solutions to the world’s problems has no limits. The two recent years of the COVID-19 pandemic have shown how international research cooperation was able to act at the service of humanity. Any war action between countries interrupts this fundamental process, triggers economic and ecological crises, enormously amplifies the spreading of diseases, delays the possibility to cure people and to effectively deliver essential items such as food and drugs. The war action undertaken against the people of Ukraine is an enemy to both progress and the humanity.

We therefore appeal to all National and International authorities to find a path to a diplomatic solution to this difficult crisis as soon as possible, and sincerely hope that a further worsening of the conflict will be avoided.

As researchers and scientists, we feel particularly close to our Ukraine colleagues. We encourage all our colleagues to join international initiatives such as Science for Ukraine (http://scienceforukraine.eu/), to provide support and hospitality in their laboratories to Ukrainian students and teachers. We also sincerely hope that further initiatives and funding will be soon launched by both National and EU governing bodies to safeguard Ukraine human, cultural and scientific heritage.