“Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else—if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.” “A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!” (Carroll, Lewis. Alice in wonderlands)
Production and circulation of knowledge have become increasingly important aspects for modern societies, and the mobility of scientists has become an integral part of the academic and scientific career. When considering the relevance that the dynamics of skilled immigration has taken on, scientific mobility arises as a fundamental mode of analysis, firstly because it refers to the movement of individuals across national boundaries, secondly because it brings about questions regarding the production of knowledge and information at a time when knowledge appears as a central resource for economic and social growth. Further, scientific mobility is one of the skilled migration forms that has been gaining the most importance in European efforts to create a common European area for research; initiatives such as the European Research Area, Marie Curie Actions, European Network of Mobility Centers and EURAXESS attest to this importance.
Researchers crossing borders: Transnational scientific mobility symposium targets the exploration the phenomenon of transnational scientific mobility from a critical and inventive perspective, giving a special attention the Portuguese case. To do so, we understand transnational scientific mobility as a kind of skilled migration that involves the movement of scientists, professors, researchers, post-doctorates and PhD students across national boundaries and international institutions, laboratories, universities, think tankers and researcher centers.
Some key questions we wish to discuss: What does it mean to be an international scientist? Should scientific mobility be considered a migratory experience or not? What are the political implications of scientific mobility? Does the geopolitical hierarchies affects these dynamics? Do race, ethnicity and nationality shape international researchers experience? How is sexism present in these dynamics? Are postcolonial practices present in this dynamic? More specifically regarding the Portuguese context: Why do international researchers move do Portugal? What are the main obstacles they encounter during their experience? How can Portugal become more attractive to international researchers? What is the impact of austerity measures in the scientific mobility to Portugal? Does Portuguese colonial past affect its transnational scientific mobility dynamics?
We aim to shed some innovative light on the debate about transnational scientific mobility, discussing its political and social aspects and drawing an initial profile of this phenomenon in the Portuguese scientific and academic environment. Furthermore, we are specifically concerned about how gender inequalities are present in transnational scientific mobility schemes. Moreover, our goal is to offer original and analytical ideas and understanding of transnational scientific mobility hoping to contribute to its improvement.