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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Monday, April 26, 2004

International Science Post-9/11

This is a tough issue. Science ideally 'requires' the free flow of ideas. While that free flow is not a necessity (as highly secretive pharmaceutical companies conduct science), it is highly beneficial.

The Scientist has posted an article on this topic. There are a lot of specifics that need to be considered. Here are a few of my thoughts.

The question is: How do we balance security issues with honest and open scientific exchange of ideas? It’s true that we can ill afford to lose our edge as leaders of the scientific/medical world. The issue that I find unresolved is whether or not we will lose that edge by restricting the flow of people and ideas to a reasonable extent. The US still funds science more extensively than any country in the world. So long as that continues, we will continue to be a destination for budding scientists. It is possible, however, that things will eventually change. The question is ‘how possible’? If we are going to expose ourselves to the potential for terrorists getting into the country via visiting scientist/student channels, we’d better be pretty sure that the sky really is falling.

Without a doubt, I think there are bigger holes in our ability to keep bad guys out of the country than student visas. That does not, however, mean that we should be lax in this particular area. Any hole in our defense we can identify is a good one to close. There is an effective, efficient and commonly overlooked way to address this issue: Enforce our existing laws!!

If we could just manage to keep track of students before and after their visas expired, we might all sleep a little better at night.


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