AAAS CEO Rush Holt tells PRI, "Any restriction on communication interferes with the good practice of science."

AAAS CEO Rush Holt spoke with Public Radio International (PRI) for a piece on scientists who chose to skip the 2017 AAAS Annual Meeting "due to fear of US travel."

“Any restriction on communication interferes with the good practice of science,” says Rush Holt, a physicist, longtime congressman and CEO of the AAAS.

Holt argues that even in the internet age, there’s no substitute for scientists being in the same room together.

“That’s often where you make your collaborative connections, you find people who have a technique you could use in your experiment, and you talk about how that technique would work,” Holt says. “That’s something that only happens in person.”

Scientists sit in on talks given by colleagues in different disciplines, Holt says, asking questions “that could change the direction of your research.

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