The APECS Policy on Political Activity was developed during the 2017-2018 APECS term by the Executive Committee, the Council and Members of the APECS National Committee leaderships.
The policy takes effect immediately.
Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS): Throughout this document “APECS” refers to the various councils, committees (including national committees), members and representatives comprising the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists.
Political or Political Activity: Relating to the government or the public affairs of a country
Non-partisan: Does not support or oppose any given party, candidate, campaign, or policy
Impartial: Content should not favour one party or position over another
Evidence-based policy: Policy created based on the best available objective evidence from research, instead of subjective values or ideologically-driven viewpoints (http://www.horizons.gc.ca/en/content/case-evidence-based-policy)
The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) is an international and interdisciplinary organization for early-career scientists with interests in the Polar and Alpine Regions and the wider cryosphere. The stated mandate of APECS is to promote and create opportunities for the next generation of polar researchers. Specific goals of APECS include:
- Creating an international network of polar researchers across disciplines to share ideas and experiences, and develop new research directions and collaborations
- Providing opportunities for career development for both traditional and alternative polar and cryospheric professions
- Promoting education and outreach as an integral component of polar research, in order to stimulate future generations of polar researchers
In carrying out these goals, APECS is actively involved in many aspects of polar research at the global scale and routinely shares materials, news, or event announcements (e.g. webinars, presentations). APECS is a non-partisan organization, meaning that APECS does not advocate for any particular political party or their mandate, candidate, law or legal outcome, and APECS does not express opinions about the governance of any country or region. APECS recognizes the right of its members to individually express their views and opinions on any subject. However, APECS does not condone or accept any such partisan opinions being expressed on behalf of APECS as an organization.
Although APECS is a non-partisan organization, this does not mean that APECS avoids contact with government organizations. APECS works with government, intergovernmental, regional and international organizations whose goals and missions align with the APECS mandate to create opportunities for polar early-career researchers (ECRs). For example, APECS often works with these organizations to provide fellowship opportunities for ECRs to sit on committees and working groups or to provide funding for ECRs to attend conferences. Similarly, APECS is able to work with these agencies by providing facts to policy makers, so that they are able to engage in evidence-based policy development. Both such examples allow APECS to work with these organizations to achieve its mandate, while remaining non-partisan.
APECS representatives often attend and participate in events, meetings, conferences, or panel discussions where there are officials of these organisations present. Those representing APECS must remain non-partisan, and provide evidence and/or scientific information, and evidence-based policy recommendations when requested (this does not apply to members when they are acting as a private individual, and if members clearly state that they are are voicing their own personal opinion- see Directive 4 below for details). If an individual or a National Committee is unsure whether an activity is political in nature, feel free to contact the Executive Committee at any time (please see Directive 5 below for details).
APECS is introducing the directives below in order to ensure APECS remains non-partisan as an organization. Failure to follow these directives may result in APECS membership being revoked for up to four years, depending on the severity of the issue, which will be decided by the APECS Executive Committee (ExCom). Each situation will be handled on a case-by-case basis, where details will be reviewed by the ExCom and Executive Director. The individual(s) involved in the issue will be contacted by the ExCom prior to any decision being made (to explain the process/situation, to get clarification on the issue, or to ask/answer any questions), and the final decision will be voted on by the ExCom (5 voting members, majority vote). Once a decision is made the individual(s) will be contacted by the APECS President. Individuals who have membership revoked are:
- Ineligible for opportunities advertised and administered through APECS
- Ineligible to organise or attend APECS International or National Committee events
- Removed from the APECS mailing list
Summary of this policy:
1. National Committees which are registered as organizations in their home countries must abide by the rules and regulations of the country in which they are based, in addition to the APECS Policy on Political Activity.
2. The views and actions of various organizations that APECS works with, (see the list of organizations here) are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of APECS.
3. As an international organization APECS does not advocate for any particular political parties, candidates, laws, or legal outcomes; participate in, attempt to influence, or intervene in any initiative with a political focus (e.g. lobbying, political advocacy); or endorse candidates running for office, parties, or bills.
4. APECS encourages members to exercise their civic right to express their political opinions. However, any member who engages in politically partisan activity must do so in his or her own personal capacity, and not on behalf of APECS. If a member engages in partisan activity they must
a. do so without mention of APECS, either overtly or implicitly
b. not do so at APECS functions or through using APECS logos, publications, website, or other communication channels.
6. It is the responsibility of any APECS member or committee planning APECS activities to ensure that the activities are within the APECS mandate, and do not violate the APECS Policy on Political Activity.
7. APECS is permitted to receive grants of any capacity from any non-partisan funding source, as long as APECS activities remain focused on the APECS mandate and goals, remain non-partisan, and do not advocate for or against the funding sources’ political agenda. See donation guidelines for further details.
8. Under certain conditions APECS representatives may share content with APECS members from a politically engaged organization. However, this may only occur if the content being shared is non-partisan, and the content represents a valuable resource to early-career researchers. For example, a webinar presentation about “Science and Social Media” may be published by an organization that also engages in government lobbying efforts. The content of this webinar is non-partisan, and the information presented may help early-career scientists promote their research. Therefore, APECS may decide to share this content with its members.
 Certain political activities may be permissible if they are in pursuit of the APECS mandate and goals, and they do not display a preference for or opposition to any political party, cause, or candidate. APECS requires those intending to participate or organize these activities to notify the APECS Executive Committee as early as possible before doing so.