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Scholars at Risk and its sections and partner networks around the world organize events to promote academic freedom and respect for university values. Scholars at Risk members, staff and scholars assisted by the network frequently participate in conferences and other events related to SAR's mission. Upcoming events can be found on this calendar, with featured events listed below. To submit an event to the calendar, please contact For a complete list of past events please visit the Scholars at Risk event archive. To learn more about inviting a SAR scholar to speak, please visit our Speaker Series page.

Featured Past Events

Launch of SAR-Ireland section coordinating committee

Universities Ireland, in partnership with Scholars at Risk, launched the SAR-Ireland section coordinating committee at Trinity College Dublin on December 10, 2014. Speakers included Dr. Michael Murphy, President, Universities Ireland, Ruth Taillon, Secretary, Universities Ireland, Shadi Sadr, Iranian femininst and human rights defender, Dr. Roja Fazaeli, Lecturer in Islamic Civilisations, Trinity College Dublin, Claire Mary Dowling, a student at Trinity College Dublin and Sinead O’Gorman, European Director at SAR. 

SAR Speaker Series, Lund University, December 5, 2014

Lund University celebrated the launch of the Scholars at Risk program on campus with a SAR Speaker Series event on Friday December 5, 2014. Speakers included, from left to right, Pär Svensson, SAR Primary Representative at Lund University, Marit Egner, SAR Primary representative at University of Oslo, Dr. Shirin Zubair from Pakistan, Sinead O’Gorman, SAR European Director, and Margareta Nordstrand, Head of External Relations at Lund University.


SAR Speaker Series, University of Gothenburg, December 4, 2014

On December 4, as part of the SAR Speaker Series in Sweden, the University of Gothenburg hosted a meeting about Scholars at Risk for faculty, administrators and students. Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Helena Lindholm Schulz hosted the meeting. Professor Johan Öberg from the Faculty Office for Fine and Applied Arts gave a talk on “The importance of freedom of speech, academic thinking and expressions of art”. Sinead O’Gorman and Marit Egner presented Scholars at Risk’s global work and the activities of the SAR-Norway section, while Dr. Shirin Zubair presented on challenges to academic freedom in Pakistan. The University of Gothenburg is leading national efforts to engage more Swedish higher education institutions in activities to protect persecuted scholars and promote academic freedom.


SAR Speaker Series, Malmö University, December 3, 2014
The 2014 SAR Speaker Series in Sweden was launched with events at Malmö University on December 3. Pro-Vice-Chancellor Hans Lindquist and Ingrid Dackert, Dean, Faculty of Culture and Society hosted the meetings, with presentations from Per Bergström from the City of Malmö about the work of the ICORN network, a talk by Dr. Shirin Zubair on gender, education, academic freedom in Pakistan, and a presentation by Marit Egner on the activities of the Scholars at Risk Norway section. For press coverage, please see:

Academic Freedom in Central Asia: The Case of Alexander Sodiqov

On July 22, 2014 Scholars at Risk hosted a panel discussion at New York University on the topic "Academic Freedom in Central Asia: The Case of Alexander Sodiqov." The discussion panel addressed the recent arrest of Alexander Sodiqov, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, who was taken into custody while conducting research on conflict resolution in Tajikistan. Although Alexander Sodiqov has been released on bail, he remains under investigation and is prohibited from leaving the country.

The panelists included Edward Schatz, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto; Alexander Cooley, Tow Professor of Political Science at Barnard College; Anne Nelson, Lecturer at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and former director of the Committee to Protect Journalists; John Heathershaw, Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Exeter; and Rob Quinn, SAR's Executive Director. Together, the panelists discussed the developments in Alexander's case, and the serious concerns this incident raises on the state of academic freedom in Central Asia. Speaking from a multitude of different perspectives and extensive personal experience, each panelist emphasized the need to protect academic research from political pressure and to promote higher education values worldwide.

For more information on previous SAR events, please see the event archive here.


Scholars at Risk offers training sessions on best practices for promoting academic freedom and defending the human rights of scholars. Combining case study, role play and guided discussion, the sessions aims to equip participants to act effectively in defence of threatened scholars.  The trainings provide participants (university faculty, administrators, trustees, students, academic associations, unions and other stakeholders) with advice and guidelines for responding to threats to scholars, universities or associations around the world.

For further information on Scholars at Risk training sessions or to organize a session for your association or university, please contact or +1-212-998-2179.
Examples of past trainings
American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Best Practices for Defending Threatened Scientists

Scholars at Risk partnered with the Welfare of Scientists Working Group of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to host a training workshop on best practices for defending threatened scientists. The workshop was held at the AAAS offices in Washington D.C. on January 21, 2010. Representatives from scientific associations, universities, government agencies and the private sector participated in the workshop, which addressed the role of international and regional human rights standards in protecting individual scientists; procedures for evaluating requests for assistance from colleagues at-risk; effective response strategies; proven public and private advocacy techniques; alert-writing; and intelligent ways to engage key stakeholders in efforts to defend threatened scientists.
American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD)
Academic Freedom as Risk Management

Scholars at Risk presented a workshop on “Academic Freedom as Risk Management” at the American Conference of Academic Deans 66th Annual Meeting. The workshop, attended by provosts and deans from universities and colleges across the United States, was held on January 20, 2010 in Washington D.C. The session combined case study, role play and guided discussion to explore how grounding leadership in core university values can minimize threats to academic freedom, turning crises into opportunities to enhance an institution’s most valuable asset – its reputation.
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