IAP response to US President's Executive Order on immigration

Mon, February 06, 2017

Communique from the leadership of the InterAcademy Partnership - regarding the Executive Order on travel restrictions signed by the U.S. President Donald Trump

The leadership of the InterAcademy Partnership would like to state its serious concerns about the Executive Order signed by U.S. President Donald Trump on 27 January 2017 that severely restricts travel and entry to the United States of citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries.

Science and technology underpin innovation and development. Just as the benefits of science and technology are available to everyone worldwide – whether in the fields of food security and nutrition, health and wellbeing, or improved infrastructures – so scientific research is a global enterprise.

Although the United States has long been the world leader in research, it has maintained this status through an open policy of attracting the best talent from around the world – regardless of origin.

The new Executive Order threatens to undermine this free flow of talent, knowledge and ideas. To contribute to the global scientific endeavour and progress, academics and researchers of all countries must be able to work in a climate of freedom of thought, freedom of expression and freedom of movement.

Human society faces a number of challenges, as has been highlighted by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that the world’s nations signed in 2015, many of which can be addressed through science, technology and innovation. For this to happen, however, requires that the principles of academic freedom and autonomy are respected by all governments.

Although every nation has the right to defend its borders and to deny entry to those who would do it harm, this latest decision exceeds what is necessary. Indeed, it is already adversely affecting the movement of academics, researchers and students from around the world, causing disruptions to their bona fide wishes to engage with the U.S. and wider international academic community through conferences, collaborative research, study visits and other activities.

We believe that the Executive Order is having repercussions far beyond its intentions. We hope, therefore, that President Trump will reconsider this order that is due for renewal within 90 days and replace it with more appropriate measures to address the security concerns of the American public.

We also believe that extending the order – and perhaps also including additional countries – will have a deleterious effect on US science because it restricts the free flow of talent and ideas. It will slow the rate of progress and weaken the U.S.’s innovation and competitiveness in the global market.

We hope that President Trump will address these concerns as we express solidarity with the global academic and research community.

Robbert Dijkgraaf - President, InterAcademy Partnership; Co-chair, IAP for Research

Depei Liu - President, InterAcademy Partnership; Co-chair, IAP for Health

Krishan Lal - Co-chair, IAP for Science

Volker ter Meulen - Co-chair, IAP for Science

Detlev Ganten - Co-chair, IAP for Health

Daya Reddy - Co-chair, IAP for Research


See also:

European universities call for immediate rethinking of Trump’s executive order – from the European University Association - and the links therein;

ICSU calls on the government of the United States to rescind the Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”

No To Immigration Ban – signed by 51 Nobel Laureates, more than 20,000 US faculty members, and more than 550 members of the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Arts