Why did all the scientists check?

The Knowledge Security Screening Act aims to prevent the theft of sensitive knowledge or prevent other countries from pressuring academic freedom. It should therefore be possible to screen all non-EU scientists, so that their potential danger to our country’s epistemic security becomes clear.

KNAW President Marilyn Dogterum says it’s undesirable and impractical. “It comes down to a long list of important areas,” she says. “At many universities, you have to screen more than half the people. Is that proportionate, or even possible?”


The decision to include all “third country nationals” – people from outside the EU – in the examination appears to be partly aimed at preventing discrimination. “It has to remain neutral towards the country, and we all understand why, but that also makes it completely impractical.”

Moreover, in Dogterum’s eyes, discrimination remains possible: “I have a professional group of people from all over the world. There will soon be a division between skeptical people and unsuspecting people. That way people can at least feel it, so you still run the risk of discrimination.” “.

Changing the world order

At the same time, we live in a time in which the global order is changing and countries are increasingly choosing for themselves. Is it still possible to maintain the model of free exchange of knowledge? “You have to do this,” says Dogterum. “This is not just an ideal, we also need this cooperation for our safety. So it is very important for our community.”

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Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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