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).

30 January 2017

Joint Release

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.

The American Geophysical Union is dedicated to advancing the Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs. AGU is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization representing 60,000 members in 137 countries. Join the conversation on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and our other social media channels.


AGU Contact:

Joshua Speiser
Manager, Strategic Communications
Phone: +1 202 777 7444

GSA Press Contact:
Christa Stratton
Director, Education, Communication & Outreach
Phone: +1 303 357 1093