Individual members of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience (CAN) have alerted us to the fact that a number of scientists across Canada are being denied visas to enter the United States to attend the next annual Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego. Many are students and postdoctoral fellows who have left their home countries to dedicate their energy and talents to research into devastating brain and mental health conditions that afflict millions worldwide. CAN takes the position that the exchange of ideas cannot be limited by political boundaries. To do so severely compromises the ability of the scientific enterprise to develop new ideas and advance humanity. Scientists must have the ability to travel freely to discuss their work and interact with colleagues across the globe.
By making this statement, CAN joins its voice to the position previously taken by the Society for Neuroscience (http://www.sfn.org/news-and-calendar/news-and-calendar/news/advocacy/sfn-reaffirms-need-for-scientists-to-cross-borders,-share-valuable-research).
We would like to hear from scientists in Canada who have been denied entry to the U.S. for the SfN meeting. CAN wants to increase awareness of the importance of this issue, and document how it impacts the careers of scientists and the sharing of scientific discoveries. The Board will also consider several actions to help scientists affected by the ban, based on the feedback we receive.
The Board of Director of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience