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University vice chancellors say Trump order threatens global research

Claire Shaw and others write in The Conversation (3.2.17) about how academics worldwide are calling for the US president to reconsider the executive order on immigration, which many say is damaging to research collaboration.

'University vice chancellors in Australia warn that US President Donald Trump’s executive order – which temporarily bans those from seven countries from entering the US – will threaten the globally connected academic community.

'Trump has placed a 90-day ban on those from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia from entering the US.

'"How can it be that the US, which has countless Nobel Prize winners and top universities of the calibre of Harvard, Stanford and Yale, might suddenly bar the world’s best and the brightest from entry - or worse, re-entry - into its classrooms and laboratories?" said Ian Jacobs, Vice Chancellor of the University of New South Wales.

'Of the 350 Nobel Prize winners in the US, more than 100 have been immigrants.

'The world badly needs collaborative university research between nations.'

Peter Doherty: why Australia needs to march for science

Nobel Laureate and Queensland medical researcher, Peter Doherty, writes in The Conversation (21.4.17) about the international 'March for Science' event, arguing that the movement aims to cause US legislators to reflect a little and understand what they risk if they choose to erode their global scientific leadership.

'To me, it seems the reason concerned people across the planet are marching [for science] today is that, at least for the major players in the English-speaking world, there are major threats to the global culture of science.

'Why? A clear understanding of what is happening with, for example, the atmosphere, oceans and climate creates irreconcilable problems for powerful vested interests, particularly in the fossil fuel and coastal real estate sectors.

'Contrary to the data-free “neo-con/trickle down” belief system, the observed dissonance implies that we need robust, enforceable national and international tax and regulatory structures to drive the necessary innovation and renewal that will ensure global sustainability and a decent future for humanity and other, complex life forms.

'Here in Australia, the March for Science joins a global movement initiated by a perceived anti-science stance in Donald Trump’s administration.

'... Ignoring, or denying, problems does not make them go away. Whether or not the message is welcome, the enormous power of science and technology means we can only go forward if future generations are to experience the levels of human well-being and benign environmental conditions we enjoy today.

'There is no going back. The past is a largely imagined, and irretrievable country.'

 

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