Among those immediately affected by the Executive Order signed by President Trump to suspend entry into the United States of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen are academics with plans to attend research conferences in the US. For instance, the most important conference in the field of management – the Academy of Management (AoM) Annual Meeting – is scheduled to take place in August 4-8, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Actually, the Annual Meeting has historically only been held in the US and in Canada.
Since papers for AoM Meeting had to be submitted by early January, several scholars whith accepted papers might not be able to attend the conference. Obviously, this would be an issue of great concern for any scholarly association. Accordingly, the AoM officials released a statement today on the subject matter:
Our members hold a range of views on the public policies that have recently been implemented. Many of you have expressed concern about travel to the Annual Meeting in Atlanta; many are interpreting the Executive Order as a direct attack on scholarship; and some are worried about the implication for pluralism on all sides of this issue. A number of you have asked the AOM to condemn the order as antithetical to scholarly values, academic freedom, and democratic processes. Yet because of our very diversity, the AOM has long had a binding policy that restricts any officer from taking a stand on any political issue in the name of the AOM.
Several of my colleagues have voiced strong opposition to such a “neutral” positioning of the AoM, mostly arguing that refusing to take a stance actually implies taking a stance. For instance, Guido Palazzo commented on Facebook:
Other scholarly associations in the social sciences decided to be more vocal on the issue. The statement by the American Sociological Association is all but neutral on the Executive Order:
Most immediately, the ASA is taking a firm stance against last week’s Executive Order regarding entry into the United States for people from seven majority Muslim countries. We have co-signed, with many of our sister scholarly societies, a statement written by the American Association for the Advancement of Science which will be released soon. It argues that scientific progress depends fundamentally on an open exchange of ideas and recognizes that the Executive Order will have the effect of limiting interaction among scholars.
Similarly, the American Political Science Association
condemns the Executive Order […] and strongly urges President Trump to rescind it. The order generates immediate and detrimental effects on colleagues and students with whom we teach, write, and collaborate. It undermines academic freedom in the most fundamental way by restricting the ability of scholars to meet, learn and exchange ideas on campuses of American colleges and universities. As scholars and teachers, we deplore the interruption of research, teaching, and intellectual engagement that this order causes.
So far, no statement at all has been released by the American Economic Association.
[Update, February 2, 2017] The board of the American Philosophical Association also delivered a statement on the issue:
The APA’s mission is to foster open dialogue and the free exchange of ideas. Inclusion and respect for diverse people, religions, cultures, and ideas are at the very core of our work. This order goes against these values—values on which the United States itself was founded.