Universities launch 24/7 hotline for threatened scientists

On Monday 7 November universities in the Netherlands opened a hotline for scientists who receive threats. According to the universities, scientists have experienced “too much” online hatred, physical threats and harassment in recent years. They hope the hotline will make it easy for them to find help, reports NL Times.

WetenschapVeilig is a website and a telephone control room that is available 24/7. Scientists can report threats there and find information about where to go for the correct help. Every threat is also forwarded to the scientist’s employer, who will contact them to arrange further support.

Pieter Duisenberg of the umbrella organisation Association of Universities in the Netherlands, one of the initiators behind WetenschapVeilig, called threats “an attack on academic freedom”. Many universities have special teams of security specialists or lawyers who can help threatened scientists. WetenschapVeilig will connect them to those teams directly, he said to RTL Nieuws.
Full report on the NL Times site