D.F. Dowd

When terrorists unleashed a new kind of fear in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, few Americans may have guessed their attacks would also have significant repercussions for scientists and scientific research. Frustration over visa delays, discouragement over visa denials, and fears that US students, researchers, and employers might now be reluctant to work with them have led some foreign scholars to look elsewhere to advance their careers. As a result, concerns are growing that new immigration policies could--or already have--put foreign students at such a competitive disadvantage that their failure to come to this country will put the United States at a disadvantage as well.

"In the long run, the progression of our research is at stake," says Debbie Fountain, with the National Cancer Institute's Office of Management. "These folks play a major part in our research team here in Bethesda, and the longer it takes...

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