In the last few days, we have witnessed the incomprehensible and unimaginable descend on Europe for the first time in more than 80 years: an unprovoked, brutal, full-scale war on one of the European family of nations, Ukraine, and its people by its neighbour, the Russian Federation. While violating several international treaties securing Ukraine’s border, it also violates international law:

Article 51(2) of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions:

“The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence, the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population, are prohibited.”

The UN convention, article 2, paragraph 4:

The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following principles….

  1. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”


We as scientists wish to contribute to building a better Europe and world. At this critical moment, our immediate goal it to do our best to alleviate the suffering we are witnessing daily in Ukraine.

 Concrete actions you as scientists can take:

An international, grassroots initiative is underway to help scientists in harm’s way due to the war in Ukraine. The effort was begun by Andrew Kern, Univ. Oregon, @pastramimachine. The idea is to facilitate refugee scientists in finding a host lab abroad. Given EPSO’s commitment to pan-European plant science, this initiative seems highly relevant to us.

One simply lists the relevant information in the online Google spreadsheet. It is getting a lot of traffic, so you may have to try several times, or at off-hours, to get your listing in. The list:

In the Annex we list further initiatives across Europe we will update in the coming days. Send us such information to add there.


The EPSO Board and Executive Director on behalf of the EPSO members


Click here to read: Full ‘EPSO UKR statement’



  • Alan Schulman, EPSO President
  • Marie-Theres Hauser, EPSO Board
  • Przemysław WOJTASZEK, EPSO Board
  • Karin Metzlaff, EPSO Executive Director