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Security measures were taken against 59 scientists and university employees between November 2022 and December 2023. These measures ranged from removing contact information on websites to physically moving individuals, according to the Monitor externe intimidatie, haat en bedreiging van wetenschappers.

In late 2022, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Universities of the Netherlands and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research launched the WetenschapVeilig hotline, similar to Persveilig for journalists. This information point registers reports and liaises with the Public Prosecution Service and the police. The figures on security measures are the first results of this hotline.

Climate change

The three science organizations note an increase in activism and norm blurring in society and find that as a result, some scientists are more reluctant to speak publicly about their work for fear of negative reactions. This is especially prevalent among scientists and university staff working on topics such as the war between Israel and Hamas, climate change or migration.

UNL President Caspar van den Berg: “It is unacceptable and appalling when scientists have to worry about their safety when they have shared their research findings. The monitor shows how important it is that we all continue to stand firmly for our scientists.”