Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science (CFRS)

The Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science (CFRS) serves as the guardian of the ICSU Principle of Universality of Science, which is enshrined in Statute 5 and adherence to which is a condition for ICSU Membership. Its mission is to raise international awareness for and promote freedom and responsibility aspects related to the conduct of science. It does this by issuing advisory material, organising scientific meetings and by considering cases of individual scientists whose human rights are infringed.

Meeting Reports
23rd Meeting, November 2017:
22nd Meeting, April 2017:
21st Meeting, October 2016:
20th Meeting, April 2016:
19th Meeting, October 2015:
18th Meeting, March 2015:
17th Meeting, October 2014:
16th Meeting, April 2014:
15th Meeting, October 2013:
14th Meeting, May 2013:
13th Meeting, October 2012:
12th Meeting, March 2012:
11th Meeting, September 2011:
10th Meeting, May 2011:
9th Meeting, November 2010:
8th Meeting, July 2010:
7th Meeting, November 2009:
6th Meeting, May 2009:
5th Meeting, October 2008:
4th Meeting, June 2008:
3rd Meeting, October 2007:
2nd Meeting, March 2007:
1st Meeting, November 2006:


Leiv K. Sydnes (Chair)


Leiv Sydnes, FRSC, obtained his PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from the University of Oslo in 1978. After postdoctoral research at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, he became professor at the University of Tromsø, Norway. He has been professor at the University of Bergen, Norway, since 1993. His research focused on development of synthetic methodology with the aim of preparing biologically active molecules, but he is also involved in integrated environmental research projects. He has, for many years, been involved in outreach activities on chemistry towards school children and the general public. He has written high school chemistry textbooks,  given lectures to teachers, school children and the public, written newspaper articles about contemporary chemical challenges and made a number of TV programmes about chemistry in daily life. Sydnes continues to be heavily involved in a number of national and international organisations dealing with problems and challenges related to chemistry. He was elected Vice President of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) in 2001 and served in the presidential succession 2002-2007. Since 2008, he has chaired IUPAC’s Committee on Chemical Research Applied to World Needs (CHEMRAWN), which also deals with ethical issues related to the practice of science. He has also for years been involved with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in connection with the revisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention and in discussions about educational and ethical issues.

Ranjini Bandyopadhyay


Ranjini Bandyopadhyay is an associate professor at the Raman Research Institute (RRI), Sadashivanagar, Bangalore. She received her PhD (Physics) in 2001 from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) under the guidance of Professor Ajay Sood, FRS. She was awarded the Martin Foster Medal for the best PhD thesis in the department of Physical Sciences at IISc. Following two two-year stints as post-doctoral researcher at the departments of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA, she returned to India to join the RRI as an assistant professor in 2005. Since then, Ranjini Bandyopadhyay has been the lead researcher at the rheology and light scattering laboratory at the RRI and has supervised the research of several PhD and masters students. Her research interest is in the area of experimental soft condensed matter physics and she collaborates actively with theorists and experimentalists in India and abroad. She has authored 30 peer-reviewed papers, one invited review article and one book chapter. She has also been actively involved in science education and in issues involving women in science and science ethics. She was one of the founding members of the Berlin-based Global Young Academy (GYA).

Richard Bourgeois-Doyle


Richard (Dick) Bourgeois-Doyle was appointed Secretary General of the National Research Council of Canada in April 2014. In this role, he acts as Secretary to the NRC Council and as NRC’s Senior Officer for Values and Ethics. His office is responsible for corporate governance support and for the management of the NRC Research Integrity Policy, the NRC Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post Employment, the NRC Research Ethics Board (human participants) and allegations under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act. As Secretary General, he is also the corporate officer accountable for animal care and serves as a Member Representative on the Canadian Council for Animal Care and the Council’s Public Affairs Committee. His other roles during his career at NRC have included that of Director of Corporate Governance and Assistant Director General of Communications as well as manager of special projects such as the management of NRC support for conferences, symposia, and workshops on creativity in the arts and sciences for Canada’s Millennium celebrations. Before joining NRC in 1987, Dick Bourgeois-Doyle served as Chief Policy Advisor and Chief of Staff to the Canadian Minister of Science and Technology and Director of Communications and Chief of Staff to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. He helped found and manage two public relations firms in Ottawa and a resource inventory company (Timberline) in British Columbia. He holds a Master of Arts – Integrated Studies (Athabasca), a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration (Ottawa) and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics (Guelph). A former broadcaster and journalist, he has written a number of books and contributed to many conferences, TV features, articles, and radio programs on science and innovation as well as books on Canadian history, humour writing, and culture.

Merry Bullock


Merry Bullock currently directs the International Affairs office at the American Psychological Association (APA). The office oversees APA’s involvement in international academic, research, and policy activities, coordinates APA’s UN representation, and serves as APA’s point of contact for international outreach and policy. She has served as an officer in the International Union of Psychological Science, and on international and national science and policy boards. Merry Bullock has edited or co-edited general and developmental journals, and books on international science and application. Her published psychology expertise spans developmental science (special emphasis on science education and early cognitive development), international science polic, and organisational development. She has lived, taught, and worked in university and policy settings in Canada, Estonia, Germany and in the United States.

Guéladio Cissé


Guéladio Cissé is senior researcher, project and research group leader and head of the Ecosystem Health Sciences Unit in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) in Basel, which he joined in 2009. He was previously the Director General of the Swiss Centre for Scientific Research in Côte d’Ivoire (CSRS; 2004-2009) and the Regional Coordinator of the National Centre of Competence in Research North-South (NCCR North-South) Programme in West Africa (2001-2009). He obtained his PhD in sanitary engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) in 1997, holds a Master in environmental sciences and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in disaster risk reduction from EPFL and has been habilitated by the Council for Higher Education in Africa and Madagascar (CAMES) as Research Professor (Maître de recherches in 2005 and Directeur de recherches in 2014). In his research activities, Cissé has for more than 20 years been mainly dealing with sustainable development from interlinked environmental and health perspectives. He particularly promoted the use of integrated approaches for environment and health risks assessment in underprivileged urban areas, understanding issues of habitat, water, environmental sanitation, wastewater, urban agriculture, climate change and major diseases of poverty (malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS) in these contexts and areas. His working experience took him to Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Switzerland. While in Côte d’Ivoire, he was directing the regional research centre in a period of crisis during several years. He is teaching at universities in Switzerland and Africa, supervising several young researchers from a broad range of countries, disciplines and cultures.

Roberta D’Alessandro


Roberta D’Alessandro is a linguist, working on formal models of language as well as dialectal variation. She is professor of linguistics and Chair of Italian language and culture, as well as chair of the Linguistic Institute advisory board, at Leiden University in the Netherlands, where she has established a research group in comparative microlinguistics. At Leiden, she is PI in the project Splitting and clustering grammatical information, funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific research (NWO). She is co-PI in the NWO-funded project Maps and Grammars at Meertens Institute, Amsterdam, and in the project Old Portuguese syntax funded by the Universidade Nova in Lisbon. Before moving to Leiden, she worked as a research associate at the Lab for Language asymmetries at the University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada. Previously, she was a Marie Curie Fellow at Cambridge University, UK, and before that a research assistant at Microsoft-Butler Hill in Seattle, USA. Roberta D’Alessandro received her PhD in formal linguistics from the University of Stuttgart, Germany, in 2004, and studied at the universities of L’Aquila, Italy (where she got her first degree in Russian and linguistics, and also studied physics as an undergraduate), Helsinki, Girona, Cornell, Siena and Utrecht. She is a member of the Young Academy of the Netherlands, where she was a board member in charge of the internationalization program until April 2015, and of the Global Young Academy (GYA), where she is a member of the Working Group “Science and Education for Youth”.

Hasan Dweik


Hasan Dweik has been the Executive Vice-President of Al-Quds University in East Jerusalem since 2005. With a PhD in Polymer Science and Technology from Aston University/UK (1983), he began his academic career at Al-Quds University in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, whose head he was during 1994-96. At that university, he was Head of the Food Technology Department (1997-99), Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology (1999-2002) and Acting President (2004-2005). He was also a Visiting Professor at the University of Akron/US. Hasan Dweik has widely published in polymer science and technology as well as on water pollution, water chemistry, solid waste management and environment, namely co-editing a volume on water resources in the Middle East. He is a member of several local NGO, international associations and societies. He is equally the director of the interactive Science Discovery Center and the interactive Mathematics Museum, both of which he established at Al-Quds University. Hasan Dweik is devoted to the advancement of science, science diplomacy and maintains a special interest in informal education.

Kumie Inose


Kumie Inose is a professor in the Department of English at Konan University, Japan, and Vice-President of the Science Council of Japan (SCJ). She holds a doctoral degree in History from Kyoto University. She specialises in modem British history: through her research she seeks to develop new analyses of the British Empire by means of an interdisciplinary approach that integrates cultural, social and intellectual history, postcolonial and gender studies. She has been engaged in a wide range of SCJ activities, including participation in projects addressing the issues of a gender-equal society, gender-related issues, recognition of the significance of history as well as history education bridging secondary and higher education. Most recently, as Vice President of SCJ, Kumie Inose participated in committees concerned with the Great East Japan Earthquake, the Basic Law on Integrity in Scientific Research, Science and Technology, and she chaired the committee on “Science and Society”, addressing various topics including public relations, promotion of co-operation among government, society and the general public. She has played a particularly active role on the SCJ Committee for Integrity of Scientific Research, established in August 2014 at the request of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, serving as a project coordinator for the symposium in February 2015.

Gaven Martin

New Zealand

Gaven Martin is Distinguished Professor of Mathematics. He is currently Vice President (Physical Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Technology & Engineering) of the Royal Society of New Zealand and currently leads a strong multidisciplinary science institute at Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand. Martin did his undergraduate studies in New Zealand and his PhD at the University of Michigan with subsequent Postdocs in Berkeley before becoming a Gibbs Professor at Yale University. Returning to New Zealand, he split chairs at the Australian National University and University of Auckland for a number of years before settling in Auckland. His many distinctions include Fellowships with Fulbright, Sloan, NSF, ESERC, Swedish and Finnish Academies, IAS (Princeton), IHES (Bur-sur Yvette), Hausdorff (Bonn), Magdalen College (Oxford), IPAM (UCLA), James Cook Fellow (NZ), JSPS (Japan), Fellowship of the American Mathematical Society and of the NZ Mathematical Society, a Miller Professorship at Berkeley, along with numerous visiting professorships. Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1997, he was awarded their Hector Medal in 2008. He is a Board Member of the Rotary National Science Forum and has led significant fundraising efforts for postgraduate science scholarships as well as the support of mathematics in New Zealand. He has served on the primary science funding agencies within New Zealand (Marsden, Rutherford, MBIE) on the US National Science Foundation and many other international funding agencies.

Alberto J. Núñez Sellés


Alberto J. Nuñez Sellés obtained a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Havana (1975), a PhD in Chemistry from the Czech Academy of Sciences (1985) and a Doctor in Sciences from the University of Havana (2007). He has published widely in fields related to organic synthesis, organic trace analysis by chromatographic methods, natural health products, oxidative stress and antioxidant therapy, and R&D project management. He serves as editorial board member or reviewer of reputed journals and works actively within the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and other international scientific bodies. He is an Academician of Merit (Academy of Sciences of Cuba, 2006), Numeral Academician (Iberoamerican Academy of Pharmacy, Spain, 2002), Correspondent Academician (Royal Catalunya Academy of Pharmacy, 2005; Academy of Sciences and Arts, Puerto Rico, 2008); President, Cuban Chemical Society (1994-2009) and he was President of the Federación Latinoamericana de Asociaciones Químicas (2006-2008). His biography is included in the “Who’s Who in Sciences in Cuba”, “Who’s Who in the World”, “Who’s Who in Healthcare and Medicine”, “American Biography International”, “Profiles of International Accomplished Leaders” and “Dictionary of International Biography”, “2000 Outstanding Scientists of the XX Century”. At present, he is the Research Director, National Evangelic University, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Eric Odada


Eric Odada, professor in Geology at the University of Nairobi, is a fellow of the Kenya National Academy of Sciences (KNAS) and of the World Academy of Art and Sciences (WAAS). He has served in many international scientific committees of ICSU and Global Environmental Facility (GEF) of the World Bank. He is currently the Director of the United Nations University Regional Centre for Water Education (UNU-WVLC) based in Nairobi, Kenya. He is cited for distinguished service to the African Scientific Community on Global Environmental Change Research and Capacity Building. He is engaged in a wide range of scientific research domains, teaching and public service activities. These activities are intended to help address numerous serious global change problems by improving the scientific understanding of issues, making the best possible scientific information and expertise more accessible to policy and decision-makers and by improving the public’s understanding of earth sciences related to sustainable development.

Silke Schicktanz


Silke Schicktanz is full professor for Culture and Ethics of Biomedicine at the Department for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine at the University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany. After studies in biology and philosophy at the University of Tübingen, Germany (1991-98), she obtained a PhD in Ethics of Life Science from the same university (2002). She held postdoctoral positions in the field of bioethics at the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine Berlin-Buch/Forschungszentrum Jülich (2002-2003) and at the Department for Ethics, History and Theory of Medicine at the University of Münster (2004-2005). Being interested in public dialogue and engagement, she was project leader of the first nation-wide citizen conference on genetic testing that took place at the Deutsche Hygiene Museum in Dresden (2001-2002). She was visiting scholar at Ben-Gurion University, Israel, JNU Delhi, India, at CESAGEN Lancaster/UK and recently as Humboldt fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. More recently, she was a member of the Advanced Grant Evaluation Panel of the European Research Council (ERC; 2009-2012). Silke Schicktanz has extensive experience in conducting international and interdisciplinary research projects funded by the EU (“Challenges of Biomedicine”, 2005-2007), German-Israeli Foundation (2009-2012), Volkswagen-Stiftung (2010-13), DFG (2011-14) and the BMBF (2011-14). She heads a working group that publishes internationally on issues such as ageing and dying, body and identity, organ transplantation, genetics, democratising science and empirically informed ethics. Her current research foci are ethics of science and biomedicine, cultural differences in bioethics, concepts of responsibility, autonomy, and trust, and the interrelations of ethics and empirical research.

Valérie Schini-Kerth


Valérie Schini-Kerth has been a Professor of Pharmacology at the Faculty of Pharmacy of Strasbourg University since 2000. After a degree in Pharmacy in 1984, she obtained her PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Strasbourg in 1987. Thereafter, she spent five years in research laboratories in the US (one year post-doctoral training at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester; one year as research instructor and three years as assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston) and seven years in Germany (research and teaching at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau and the JW Goethe University Hospital Frankfurt). Her main research interests focus on the pivotal role of the endothelium in regulating vascular functions (vascular tone and remodelling, atherothrombosis, inflammation, angiogenesis) in physiological (i.e. ageing) and pathophysiological conditions (i.e. hypertension, diabetes) using in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo approaches. In particular, she is interested in characterising the mechanism underlying endothelial dysfunction, which is a major hallmark of most types of cardiovascular diseases, and evaluating the potential protective effect of news therapeutics and natural product-derived compounds. She has published more than 170 original publications in international journals.

Mark Thorley

United Kingdom

Mark Thorley is Head of Science Information for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), one of the UK’s seven research councils, which collectively form Research Councils UK (RCUK). He also has a high-profile role as one of the RCUK policy leads in open access and scholarly communications, where he is one of the key people behind the development and implementation of the RCUK Policy on Open Access. The strategic areas he works in include open access, data policy and data exploitation, big data, e-infrastructure and data publishing. He is not a typical academic. A botanist by degree, he initially worked in industry as a software developer in both finance and pharmaceuticals before joining the British Antarctic Survey to run a data centre for a large international marine research programme, progressing to become Manager of the NERC Antarctic Environmental Data Centre and then NERC’s Data Management Coordinator. Mark Thorley is one of the experts who contributed to the recent ICSU report “Open access to scientific data and literature and the assessment of research by metrics”. He also helped develop the OECD’s Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA), whose Data Policy Committee he chairs. He brings to the CFRS a broad experience and expertise in open access, research data management and related policy development and implementation.

Ex officio

  • David Black (ICSU Secretary General)
  • Lucilla Spini (ICSU Head of Science Programmes, for the ICSU Executive Director)