WELLINGTON, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand scientists Thursday voiced concerns for the future of international research into issues such as climate change and extreme weather following President Donald Trump's imposition of travel restrictions to the United States.
The Royal Society of New Zealand, the country's leading science organization, said the U.S. hosted many international projects and conferences and there was a significant risk that the advancement of knowledge in critical fields would be hampered if the whole global research community was unable to gather and share knowledge.
"It is of grave concern to the New Zealand research community when events elsewhere in the world put at risk the research endeavor that is most critical to the future of humanity, including the recent restrictions on access to the United States," said society president Professor Richard Bedford.
"The New Zealand research community openly welcomes the contributions of researchers from all over the world because the pursuit of knowledge today is truly global," Bedford said in a statement.
"Diverse views and backgrounds enrich us and add strength to research and researchers from all countries have a part to play."
Researchers in the early stages of their careers were especially vulnerable to limitations on engagement with others.
The New Zealand Association of Scientists (NZAS) said Trump's travel restrictions would "retard scientific progress in the United States and the rest of the world at just the time when our civilisation needs science the most."
"We've just gone two weeks with the new U.S. administration and we are witnessing a geopolitical shake-up that is without precedent," NZAS president Craig Stevens said in a statement.
"The world would not be sure that the climate is changing rapidly due to greenhouse gas emissions without the efforts of scientists of all nationalities," said Stevens.
"Science and the scientific community cannot tolerate discrimination against people on the basis of their place of birth or religion. In fact, the Trump administration's travel ban has horrified the global scientific community."
The new U.S. administration was also using "new and seriously partisan media to deconstruct science," which had "happened before with abhorrent consequences."
"There are so many, many challenges facing our species: population, climate, equality, health, environment and more besides," said Stevens.
"It's one thing to make science struggle to support and justify its activities - that is only appropriate. It is quite another to actively hunt it down and tear down truths."