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Cara's 90th Anniversary

May 2 2023

As we approach our 90th anniversary, we look briefly at our history.

May is the month of Cara's 90th anniversary.  Our precursor, the Academic Assistance Council, was launched from the Rooms of the Royal Society on 22 May 1933 with a Founding Statement signed off by 41 of the leading academics, scientists and public figures in the UK.  Their aim was to raise funds to help their colleagues who were being forced out of their posts in Nazi Germany - "... to prevent the waste of exceptional abilities exceptionally trained ... the relief of suffering and the defence of learning and science".  

In 1936 the name was changed to the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning, or SPSL, and it was changed again in 1999 to the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (Cara). This was further modified in 2014 to become the Council for At-Risk Academics, reflecting the fact that Cara was helping many who were at great risk but did not see themselves as ‘refugees’, and instead still hoped to return to their home countries when conditions allowed - as most of our current Fellows do now.

For our 80th anniversary in 2013 we produced a Supplement which was circulated with Times Higher Education.  Much of it was devoted to a series of articles looking back at our history and the contributions made to science, the arts and the humanities by those rescued by the AAC, the SPSL and Cara over those 80 years, and is still very relevant today.  We are therefore making it available once again, through the link here.

(If you wish to contact us, please note that our current website address is, the contact email address is now [email protected], and the link for donations is here.)