In the face of the Trump travel ban, academics must strengthen, rather than sever, ties to the United States, argues Dr. Matthew Stanbrook, Deputy Editor, CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) in an editorial.
“Science, especially medical science, knows no borders and cannot advance effectively without the free international exchange of knowledge, ideas and skills among all its participants,” writes Dr. Stanbrook. “For academics to suspend interactions with US colleagues or refuse to peer review and validate the work of US researchers risks weakening US science at the worst possible time, abandoning colleagues to face a political administration that already manifests a desire to muzzle federal scientists, escape accountability by the media and wage war on facts incompatible with its preferred narrative.”
He advocates against boycotting scientific meetings in the US or moving them to another country as this would prevent participation from the many scientists and trainees from the countries under the ban who live and work in the US.
“Although the travel ban targets individuals, its threat to the integrity and prosperity of scientific collaboration is of paramount concern. Physicians and scientists must not remain silent, but the best solution lies in more, rather than less, engagement with US colleagues,” Dr. Stanbrook concludes.