About CARA

The Academic Assistance Council (AAC) was founded in March 1933 by William Beveridge, then Director of the London School of Economics, in response to an article in a Viennese newspaper announcing "that a dozen leading professors were being dismissed from posts in German Universities by the newly established Nazi regime, either on racial or on political grounds."

He returned to the UK to rally support for fellow academics suffering persecution under the rise of  Fascism in Europe and, eight weeks later, the AAC was born.  The AAC Founding Statement was signed by 41men and women of distinction from every branch of science and the arts who became its first members including Lord Rutherford, John Maynard Keynes, A V Hill, Lionel Robbins, and Margery Fry.  On 23rd October 1933, Albert Einstein addressed a major fundraising meeting at the Royal Albert Hall.

Consolidated in 1936 as The Society for the Protection of Science and Learning (SPSL) and renamed The Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA) in 1998, this UK registered charity aims to help those previously engaged in teaching or research at a university or scientific institution, who have left their country or occupation as a result of political, racial, religious or other oppression or discrimination, or the fear of such oppression or discrimination.  Of those supported in the 1930s and 40s, 18 became Nobel Laureates, 16 were knighted and 121 were elected as Fellows to The British Academy or The Royal Society. 

The need to protect science and learning did not end with the defeat of totalitarian regimes in the 1940s and, over the years, CARA has provided practical support to over 9,000 displaced academics and their dependents, helping to rebuild shattered lives and ensure that their special knowledge and abilities may continue to be used for the benefit of mankind

Beveridge’s vision, in what was undoubtedly the most tragic episode in the history of science and learning, remains as relevant today as ever helping academics from countries as diverse as Argentina, Burma, Cambodia, Chile, Czechoslovakia, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, the Occupied Territories, Poland, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Uganda, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

Information on the AAC, SPSL and CARA archives is available under History.