Conflict and war in recent years have forced millions of people to leave their homes in the Middle East and North Africa. Most have arrived in adjoining countries such as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, and some 1.5 million have arrived in Europe. Others have travelled as far as South Africa, Malaysia, Canada and Brazil.

Among them are uncounted thousands of professionals and students in science – fields such as chemistry, biology and climate, but also engineering, medicine, and the social sciences. Some have found laboratories in the safety of new countries, and are working to make new scientific contributions. Many others are caught in a web of uncertainty, living precariously in an unfamiliar country while looking for safety and a chance to resume their work or studies.

Film screening and panel discussion:
"Science in Exile"

February 13, 2018
6:30 p.m.
Scotiabank Theatre
Sobey School of Business
Saint Mary's University

The travels – and the struggles – of displaced scientists are the focus of a new documentary film, "Science in Exile", directed by Italian filmmaker Nicole Leghissa in cooperation with The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS).

The panel participants will be:

Edward Lempinen:
The World Academy of Sciences (Trieste, Italy)


Edward Lempinen joined The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) as public information officer in 2013. He served as producer of the new TWAS documentary, "Science in Exile", and has played a leadership role in the Academy's initiatives in support of refugee and displaced scientists. In his years at TWAS, he has overseen production of a variety of films. He has provided communications support to programmes in education, research and science diplomacy, traveling in the Middle East, Africa and China.

Before joining TWAS, Mr. Lempinen served for nine years as senior writer at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), where he wrote and edited a monthly column in the journal Science and managed the association's website. Previously, he was the news director at, a pioneering online news site. He has been a reporter and editor at U.S. newspapers including the Chicago Sun-Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and Newsday (New York).

Patricia Evers:
Committee of Human Rights for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (Washington, D.C.)

Patricia Evers is a Senior Program Officer with the Committee on Human Rights (CHR) of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.  She has worked with the CHR since 1989, managing its case-based advocacy work in support of scientists, engineers, and health professionals suffering serious human rights abuses worldwide.  She mobilizes 1,500 academy members to take action to assist colleagues at risk and organizes and takes part in country visits and publication of its findings. Ms. Evers helped create the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies, a group of more than 80 national academies worldwide, and oversees its advocacy-related work on behalf of professional colleagues.  She received joint Masters degrees from Columbia University in International Affairs and Russian Studies.

S. Karly Kehoe:
Saint Mary’s University (Halifax, NS)


S. Karly Kehoe returned to Saint Mary’s to become the Canada Research Chair in Atlantic Canada Communities in 2016. She is a historian and her areas of expertise are migration, religion, and minority identities in the British Atlantic world. Dr Kehoe lived and worked in Scotland for 16 years and during her time as senior co-chair of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Young Academy of Scotland (2014-2016), she introduced the At-Risk Academic and Refugee membership initiative. She is continuing with this work in her role as a member of the Global Young Academy’s executive committee, where she co-leads the new At-Risk Scholar and Refugee Membership Initiative which has just been launched.