Trump travel ban throws research, academic exchange into turmoil

BOSTON — Universities across the nation say President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from seven Muslim countries is disrupting vital research projects and academic exchanges in such fields as medicine, public health and engineering, with untold numbers of scholars blocked from entering the U.S.

For years, schools in the U.S. have worked to widen exchanges with scholars in the Middle East and especially Iran, known for its strength in math and science. But many academics worry those bridges are now in jeopardy because of the ban against Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen. Some fear the U.S. will lose its standing as the world leader in research and innovation.

“It’s terrifying,” said Sarah Knuckey, director of the Human Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School. “We’re damaging international research, including on issues like health and medicine.”


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