We have learned of some very troubling news that we thought important to share with you. Two of our distinguished Trustees, Dr. Wang Jinnian and Dr. Wu Meirong, were assaulted, sustained injuries, and are currently in the hospital recovering from their injuries. Several media reports indicate that our colleagues were assaulted because they told their assailant that they would not support his becoming a member of our Academy. We have conveyed to Dr. Wang and Dr. Wu the Academy’s great sadness regarding their injuries, our best wishes for their speedy and full recovery, and our profound respect for their personal efforts to safeguard the integrity and stature of the International Academy of Astronautics.
We are reminded that the International Academy of Astronautics is an independent, nongovernmental organization that is based in Paris, France and brings together the world’s foremost, eminent experts in Astronautics for the good of humanity. The Academy has members from 90 nations. It is an organization that fosters international cooperation and understanding. We deeply respect and value each of our Members. We find appalling and totally contradictory to the fundamental principles of the Academy any act of violence or intimidation directed toward any member of the Academy, in particular when it is related to their service as a Member of the International Academy of Astronautics.
IAA membership consists of individuals who have distinguished themselves in one of the fields of astronautics or one of the branches of science of fundamental importance for the exploration of space. Election to the Academy is a recognition of an individual’s record of service and achievement, and members are leaders in space and aeronautical activities in their own countries. New members are elected by all full members of the Academy using a confidential peer review and voting process. Membership brings with it the commitment to work with fellow members for the betterment of humankind through the application of the art and science of astronautics.