AGU, GSA Respond to Immigration Ban’s Impact on Science


Today, AGU and the Geological Society of America (GSA) responded to President Trump’s Executive Order “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” that restricts entrance to the U.S. for citizens from seven countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen).

The full statement is included below:

AGU and GSA Respond to President Trump’s Executive Order: “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States”

This statement is attributable to Christine McEntee, Executive Director and CEO of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), and Vicki McConnell, Executive Director of the Geological Society of America (GSA).

WASHINGTON, DC – Science is and must remain a global enterprise. It relies on the open exchange of ideas and information, and benefits from the diversity of backgrounds, scientific ideas, and approaches. Our scientific communities are deeply concerned about the impact that President Trump’s Executive Order, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” may have on science in the United States and worldwide.

This Executive Order could undermine U.S. leadership in science and reduce our access to the best science to address pressing societal issues such as the need for fresh water and clean air, and to protect life and property from natural and manmade hazards such as severe storms or chemical hazards. It most certainly will have a chilling effect on international scientific collaboration, which is essential to advancing science for the benefit of humanity.

“The study of the Earth and space sciences has no borders,” said AGU Executive Director/CEO Christine McEntee. “Changes in Earth’s systems in one region of the world often have impacts in another, and it is critical for scientists to be able to share data and collaborate unreservedly. For example, El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillations that start in international Pacific waters affect U.S. temperatures, levels of soil moisture, the likelihood or severity of wildfires, and through these variables crop supplies.”

“The promotion of open international exchange of science and ideas as well as the encouragement of international study and learning are crucial to keeping national scientists on the cutting edge of understanding our planet and contributing to all our well being,” says Vicki McConnell, GSA Executive Director.

Both AGU and GSA have members and authors in the seven countries listed in the President’s Executive Order, but the impact of this decision goes far beyond those immediately impacted. American universities, research labs and many industries have benefited greatly from the contributions and perspectives of international students, faculty, and researchers. International cooperation, and equality and inclusiveness are values we espouse, and our organizations will continue to promote these values and encourage policies that support the effectiveness of the global scientific enterprise.


If you’d like to get involved, please consider one of the following actions:

  • Write a letter to your members of Congress. AGU’s Action Center platform provides an easy option for sending communications, and it can be accessed here; encourage your networks to join you.
  • Sign up for AGU’s Science Policy Alerts, where we will be sharing regular updates and making recommendations for how you can take action.

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  1. Natascha Walker

    Scientific and technological progress is brought to us all through our open hearts and minds. Education across ALL borders unites humanity and invites democracy.

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