IGES Statement in Response to President’s Executive Order on Visas and Immigration (May 2017)

Earlier this year, US President Donald Trump issued an executive order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”, effective 16 March 2017. As an international society based in the US, but with more than 27% of our membership residing outside of the US, the IGES Board of Directors feel compelled to speak out against this order, which we believe will damage the global progress of genetic epidemiology research.
The annual IGES Scientific Meeting enables development of international partnerships to link researchers across the world who are focussed on understanding the genomic contribution to common diseases. With more than half of our annual meetings located in the US, we believe this order will severely restrict opportunities for cross-fertilisation of the genetic epidemiology community that are essential to establish new collaborations to progress our vision to improve global population health.
In response, the IGES membership have endorsed a multi-society letter urging the US administration to rescind the executive order.
A total of 182 societies have signed the letter, which highlights the negative impact of the order on the global scientific and academic community by discouraging many of the best and brightest international students, scholars and scientists from attending academic and scientific conferences in the US.