SVP on immigration ban 2017

February 1, 2017

Vertebrate paleontology is a truly global science that knows no national borders.  Vertebrate fossils and the rock units that bear them are distributed around the world, as are vertebrate paleontologists.  Our field thrives on the ever growing diversity of our colleagues, we fully embrace contributions from all nationalities in our Society.  Free exchange of ideas and the freedom to travel to conferences, field sites, and repositories are fundamentally important to our science.

The Executive Order issued by US President Trump on January 27th titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry” temporarily banned citizens of seven countries from entering the United States and has uncertain future implications for travel in the US by citizens of those and other countries.  All seven countries are home to vertebrate fossils and to vertebrate paleontologists, as well as scientists in closely related fields in the broader biological and geological sciences.  This order, which targets entire nations and cultures, is antithetical to the Society’s values and to the values of any open scientific community.

The SVP Executive Committee is concerned about the impacts this order may have on our discipline and our members.  We are closely monitoring developments, especially as they relate to the upcoming annual meeting in Calgary.  For those who are unable to travel because of the ban, especially nationals from these seven countries who currently reside in the US, we will make every effort to make effective accommodations to keep you involved in our community.


P. David Polly, President
Emily J. Rayfield, Vice President
John A. Long, Past President