US travel bans a threat to science

08 March 2017

In a letter to the Times, Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, has criticized the travel bans imposed by the US government. He said:

“The great scientific success of the US has been based, in part, on its ability to attract the best minds from all over the world. President Trump's travel bans will damage America's reputation as an open, progressive nation and will in turn damage science in the US and internationally. All countries have the right to control their borders but erecting barriers to the pursuit of knowledge is a disservice to the US and the rest of humanity. 

“Science is global because it addresses challenges such as hunger, disease and environmental damage that do not respect borders. It is also international because the pursuit of knowledge about ourselves and the world around us is accelerated by collaboration and the exchange of ideas, data and analysis. Blanket bans on visitors because of their nationality, race or religion are wrong from many perspectives and should be rejected.”