D.F. Dowd

Joel Hirsch, an Israeli biochemist at Tel Aviv University, has one more thing to worry about when he submits a scientific paper for publication: the possibility that scientists who disagree with his country's policies will shun his work. "My nightmare scenario is that the paper gets sent to a reviewer who might have an axe to grind about Israeli scientists," Hirsch says.

In the year since some British researchers called for a boycott of Israeli scientists, funding agencies have largely rejected such appeals. A subtler, possibly no less-damaging kind of boycott has surfaced, in which researchers express their outrage with the Israeli government by refusing to interact with Israeli scientists. As a result, when a talk is canceled, or a faculty member receives no reply from a European colleague, Israeli scientists can't help but think the worst. "I can't be sure if it was because I am Israeli,"...

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