Ukraine invasion forced a fifth of scientists to flee the country in 2022, study finds

This article was first published in Physics World Magazine

Almost 20% of scientists in Ukraine fled the country by the end of 2022 as a result of the Russian invasion that began in February of that year. That’s according to an investigation by Swiss and Ukrainian researchers at EPFL Lausanne, which also finds that 20% of those who stayed have been forced to move elsewhere in the country (Humanit. Soc. Sci. Commun. 10 856).

Moving on: a new study finds that as many as 7% of Ukrainian researchers will never return, having either left the country permanently, or stopped working in science for good. (Courtesy: iStock/Silent_GOS)

As of January 2024, the United High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that 6.3 million refugees have left Ukraine while a similar number of people have been internally displaced. Before the invasion, there were estimated to be some 100,000 scientists working in Ukraine. The study surveyed a total of 2559 Ukrainian active researchers who were employed at institutions of higher education or public research organizations when the war struck.

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