Universities offer psychological help to threatened experts
The Association of Universities (VSNU) introduced new measures to help experts who received threats, including psychological help. The universities will from now on also file charges when someone threatens or tries to intimidate a scientist.
"We rejoice that our scientists use their knowledge and insights for the benefit of society, but when this leads to intimidation and threats, we see it as a direct attack on academic freedom and freedom of expression," Pieter Duisenberg said in the NOS Radio 1 Journaal.
Research from the website Science Guide showed that around 43 around percent of scientists received threats after a public appearance.
In cases of physical or sexual threats, the universities will file charges in accordance with the victim.
Terror expert and professor Beatrice de Graaf said that especially young scientists are often threatened. De Graaf said she believes the new regulations are "essential."
"The VSNU is as a result of this giving an important sign that it is not normal what is happening and that action will be taken," the professor said.