Dear Fellow AAI Members:
Recent political events in the United States have caused distress to many of our members and have led some of our international members and colleagues to question the values of our great nation. This is deeply troubling to me as well: as your president, as a scientist, and as a U.S. citizen.
As you know, The American Association of Immunologists (AAI) is the nation’s largest professional society of research scientists and physicians who are dedicated to advancing our understanding of the complexities of the immune system and applying these discoveries to the development of urgently needed treatments and cures. We welcome members of every race, religion, ethnicity, age, disability, gender, and sexual preference and orientation. We take great pride in our diversity and in our international members, with whom we collaborate and from whom we learn. We believe that every member is important and contributes to the accomplishment of our shared goals.
AAI opposes discrimination and any actions that would adversely impact the advancement of science or the fair and respectful treatment of scientists. Many of our members, both domestic and international, have expressed concern about the impact of the January 27, 2017, White House Executive Order (restricting visas and immigration) on foreign scientists’ ability to conduct research or study in the United States, or to attend scientific meetings in the U.S. and abroad. To that end, AAI joined with more than 160 other professional scientific, engineering and education societies, associations, and universities in sending a letter to President Donald Trump opposing this Executive Order, which we believe will cause significant harm to international scientific collaboration and exchange.
Please know that, as your professional society, we value you and stand with you – and with our scientific colleagues around the world – at this challenging time.
Arlene H. Sharpe, M.D., Ph.D.