I recently returned from a conference in Japan, where I had the opportunity to meet with distinguished colleagues from all over the globe to discuss the latest issues affecting gender medicine. For three days, we were able to discuss, debate and share perspectives all while fostering bonds that will lead to new relationships and collaborations — in the name of science and medicine.
Now comes word that the Trump administration’s permanent travel ban on citizens from eight countries (Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen)—will directly impact scientists and the incredible work they do in the fields of genetics, biology, geology and more. I understand and strongly support the need to keep our country safe and secure but as a physician, academic and research scientist the administration should rethink its approach to isolating scientists whose work is dedicated to understanding disease and alleviating patient pain and suffering.
Important work that may lead to critical breakthroughs will be disrupted because the ability to meet face-to-face or via other options will no longer be allowed. Not the least of which, this ban will prevent the training of young scholars who traditionally and successfully have been mentored by experts in the United States.
Please contact your congressman and make them aware of how these travel restrictions hurt the scientific and medical communities and ultimately world health. –Marianne J. Legato, M.D.