The world’s most important autism conference may have to leave the U.S. due to Trump administration travel ban

2 Feb

INSAR, the International Society for Autism Research, holds an annual conference for researchers around the world to gather and present the latest in autism related results. IMFAR (the International Meeting For Autism Research) has since it’s inception also been very inclusive of community members. Autistics, parents, providers of supports and therapies are all welcome at IMFAR.

The president of INSAR has put out message stating that the Society has to reevaluate their plans to hold meetings in the U.S.. That message can be read here, on the INSAR website. Here is part of the message:

As an organization, we must think carefully about whether to host future international meetings for autism research in the United States. As an international society, it would be inappropriate to hold the largest annual meeting on autism research in any country that restricts access to our colleagues worldwide.

As the Board of Directors of INSAR, we are unanimous in our denunciation of restrictive immigration policies that will impact researchers, students, and persons with autism and their families. The INSAR Board of Directors will be bringing these concerns to the attention of policy makers and the public. As members of INSAR, we encourage you to do so as well.

While it is an international meeting, IMFAR is quite often held in the U.S.. The most recent meetings were held in Baltimore (2016), Salt Lake City (2015) and Atlanta (2014), with the next meeting in San Francisco. Next year IMFAR will be in The Netherlands and then in Canada before returning to the U.S.. But you get the picture: the U.S. hosts this meeting quite a lot. Which means it is more accessible to American stakeholders and American researchers and it helps jobs and the economy in American cities.

But as an international conference it attracts people from around the world. When the U.S. suddenly imposes travel restrictions, people attending scientific conferences can be kept out. The next IMFAR is in May, meaning people have already made plans to attend.

Put simply, here is an example of a poorly thought out action that may cost Americans opportunities and money.

Another discussion of this can be read at Forbes, in an article by Emily Willingham: International Autism Research Society Denounces Trump’s Immigration Restrictions.

By Matt Carey

9 Responses to “The world’s most important autism conference may have to leave the U.S. due to Trump administration travel ban”

  1. Kathryn Hedges (@BiolArtist) February 3, 2017 at 01:18 #

    I was in grad school back when President Bush declared war on Iraq. We had similar problems with visas for academic conference travelers and even students and faculty.

    Dana Farber Cancer Institute is in a particularly awkward situation: they have an annual fundraiser at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, as well as problems getting some of their people home right now.

  2. davejersey February 3, 2017 at 06:11 #

    A harmless schizophrenic man with paranoia in remission sees Donald Trump’s rambling CIA speech and calls him a dangerous, provocative, grandiose, paranoid sociopath with religious pathology.

  3. Jake Crosby February 5, 2017 at 06:59 #

    Thank God, get that slush fund outta here.

    • Lawrence February 7, 2017 at 15:54 #

      What about your “slush fund” Jake?

      You have the luxury of hiding behind your parent’s money – many of those with autism don’t have that opportunity.

      What are you doing to improve the lives of those with autism, Jake?

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) February 7, 2017 at 21:48 #

        Jake is still online?

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) February 8, 2017 at 02:54 #

        Or what about the slush fund that Wakefield ran under the guise of a “charity”. Wakefield took about half the money for himself, doled out more to his friends and accomplished nothing.

        It would be interesting to see how much Jake’s family paid into that affront to the term “charity” and whether they would see themselves as being taken.

      • Jake Crosby February 10, 2017 at 00:43 #

        Lawrence, you don’t know my financial situation any more than I know yours. I’ve never solicited donations on the pretense of helping other people with autism only to fatten my salary, unlike…

      • Lawrence February 10, 2017 at 12:10 #

        You mean, unlike Wakefield, who paid himself a handsome salary whilst contributing nothing to help those with autism?

        And what, your father’s Monsanto check hasn’t been cashed yet?

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) February 10, 2017 at 18:42 #

        Keep at it and he will soon be responding with talk of Murdoch (you know, Trump’s buddy) and Brian Deer, and adding links to his fake-news articles from his time at AoA.

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