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Just Won't Come

Researchers are calling for a boycott of scientific meetings in the US, citing Trump administration immigration policies, ScienceInsider reports.

For instance, ScienceInsider says the Commission G2 Massive Stars organizing committee, part of the International Astronomical Union, has said it will not hold any meetings in the US as long as the entry ban affecting people from seven Muslim-majority countries is in effect. In addition, a petition calling for a boycott for the length of the ban has garnered more than 6,000 signatures.

"There are plenty of meetings and workshops in other countries where I can meet the colleagues I collaborate with," Matthias Bartelmann, a theoretical astrophysicist at Heidelberg University, tells ScienceInsider.

ScienceInsider notes that some researchers say a boycott might only punish US-based researchers and likely won't change the administration's stance. "While I understand and sympathize with the scientists who have decided to boycott science meetings in the US as a protest, I am concerned that this boycott will impede the progress of science," adds Charles Ferguson, president of the Federation of American Scientists.

The ban has been challenged in US courts, and a federal judge in Seattle has blocked parts of the executive order, though a federal appeals court is hearing arguments on it today, the New York Times notes.