Universities in Europe have called on US president Donald Trump to revoke his entry ban on citizens from seven Muslim states with immediate effect. Trump’s decree can do untold damage to science all over the world.

The European Universities Association (EUA) writes that the temporary entry restrictions announced by Trump last Friday will not only have an impact on individual researchers from the seven Muslim states, but they will also interfere with freedom of movement worldwide for students and researchers involved in international research and cross-border study programmes.

The ban means that university graduates from these seven countries who are already working in the United States will no longer be able to do international source research or field work. And they won’t be able to attend any conferences either because they won’t be able to go back to the United States afterwards. This will have a tremendous impact on the whole scientific world.

Amend them or revoke them

The European universities have asked Trump to revoke these measures, or amend them in such a way that freedom of movement for persons and knowledge is not jeopardised.

The Netherlands and Germany are demanding a further explanation from the US government. However, the US Department of Homeland Security announced last Saturday that people from the seven countries in question who hold a US residence permit (‘green card’) will still be allowed back in again if they leave the United States.