David Newman, professor of political geography at Ben-Gurion University, Israel, has been appointed the official academic representative of Israel for all matters relating to a potential academic boycott, which is being debated by members of the University and College Union. The appointment was made at a meeting of representatives of Israel's Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Education and the country's universities. Professor Newman, who is originally from the UK, will work under the aegis of the International Advisory Board for Academic Freedom. He said: "The heads of the British universities, as well as government leaders, have made it clear that they are against any form of academic boycott. They greatly value the co-operation between British and Israeli scientists. We will now take the challenge forward and work towards the creation of even more scientific collaborative projects between the two countries as a fitting response to those illiberal and intolerant forces who would attempt to silence the voice of academic freedom."