New Zealand researchers voiced concern for the future of international research on issues such as climate change and extreme weather following US President Donald Trump’s imposition of travel restrictions to the country.
The Royal Society of New Zealand, the country’s leading science organisation, said the US hosted many international projects and conferences and there was a significant risk that the advancement of knowledge in critical fields would be hampered if the whole global research community was unable to gather and share knowledge.
“It is of grave concern to the New Zealand research community when events elsewhere in the world put at risk the research endeavour that is most critical to the future of humanity, including the recent restrictions on access to the US,” said society president Professor Richard Bedford.
The New Zealand Association of Scientists (NZAS) said Trump’s travel restrictions would “retard scientific progress in the United States and the rest of the world at just the time when our civilisation needs science the most”, Xinhua news agency reported.
“We’ve just gone two weeks with the new US administration and we are witnessing a geopolitical shake-up that is without precedent,” NZAS president Craig Stevens said.
“Science and the scientific community cannot tolerate discrimination against people on the basis of their place of birth or religion. In fact, the Trump administration’s travel ban has horrified the global scientific community,” said Stevens.
He also said that the new US administration was also using “new and seriously partisan media to deconstruct science,” which had “happened before with abhorrent consequences.”