MAINZ, WEST GERMANY—An international scientific society is once again embroiled in a debate on apartheid in the form of a proposal to change its constitution to permit the exclusion from meetings of scientists from South Africa and Namibia.

The 11th Congress of the International Union of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences (IUPPS) met here in August amid protesters who demanded that the organization exclude scientists who work in countries that practice apartheid. The lines of the conflict had been drawn last year, when a similar protest led to the cancellation of the scheduled meeting of the IUPPS in Southampton, England. A splinter group that excluded South African scientists carried on, but the meeting was not recognized by the IUPPS.

A similar boycott of this year’s meeting was thwarted when IUPPS ceded sponsorship of the German congress to a coalition of officials from the city, the university and the local archeological museum....

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