“War can never be the solution” – world-renowned scientists say in unison as they protest against the invasion of Ukraine
“Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world”, said the great scientist Louis Pasteur who has several important discoveries in the field of microbiology to his name. This quote sums up the duty and responsibility of scientists. All inventions are intended to make the world a better place to live in. A true scientist stands up for peace and condemns violence.
This is the reason why 64 renowned scientists from different parts of the world have raised their voices in unison to inform the world about the war in Ukraine and the damage to mental health and human rights. Apart from scientists from Russia and Ukraine, this group, which is championing the cause of peace and togetherness, comprises several reputed names from the scientific world representing countries such as India, Japan, Sri Lanka, Australia, Ukraine, The Netherlands, Portugal, Moldova, Norway, Sweden, Malta, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Italy, Germany, USA, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, and Colombia.
Apart from reflecting the unity of professionals working in the field of science and discovery, it also shows the community’s resolve to help peace efforts.
Talking about the importance of this initiative, one of the scientists says, “The cumulative population of the citizens who reside in countries that are a part of this conflict amounts to more than 200 million. People on both sides of the war have lost their lives and the ones who have lived have suffered and continue to suffer in several other ways. A war of this proportion not only affects the countries that are involved in it but the entire world. Owing to this war, Europe will soon be filled with refugees. Global economies will be greatly affected as well. Most of the countries are already facing the heat because of this war and if it does not stop, the world will suffer in unimaginable ways.”
The war is intensifying with each passing moment and there is no clarity on when it will come to an end. Many lives have been lost, properties have been destroyed and by the time things slow down, one shudders to think about the plight of Ukraine and the rest of the world. Once the war comes to an end, current global governance will witness a permanent shift in its hierarchy and some countries will take undue advantage of the unrest to achieve unilateral objectives. The world’s citizenry will be the losers.
Elaborating on the same issue, another senior scientist comments, “War is not just about casualties alone, it changes the trajectory of innumerable people forever. Those who witness war and survive it, suffer from psychological issues throughout their life. Physical injuries heal over time but the scars remain. The scar of a mental or psychological injury remains for a much longer time and affects the day-to-day functioning of an individual in different ways. As scientists, we try to invent things that would augment people’s lives. Wars not only cause destruction but also result in curbing scientific growth and development.”
The aforementioned group of scientists has put together an article explaining the effect of war on mental health, published in Sleep and Vigilance, a prestigious journal with a vast readership across the world. The original article can be accessed on this link: Pandi-Perumal SR., Kumar VM, Pandian NG. et al. Scientists Against War: A Plea to World Leaders for Better Governance. Sleep Vigilance (2022).
At this point in time, when the world is witnessing a depressing chapter in history, one hopes the scientists’ appeal for peace and common sense does not go unheard.