Scientists have most impact when they’re free to move


Recent political upheavals portend an era of increased isolationism in science, with a chilling effect on collaboration and mobility. Last month, US President Donald Trump issued his third travel ban in a year, suspending entry of individuals from several countries into the United States, and placing restrictions on many more for visa renewals. These orders have stranded scholars abroad and prevented those who were in the country from engaging in international work. In March, UK Prime Minister Theresa May began the process of formally severing ties with the European Union. As a result, British institutions face a potential exodus of non-resident EU researchers and will have to overcome barriers to participating in and receiving funding for European collaborative projects. The list of countries engaging in these isolationist actions, and the list of actions themselves, grows longer…