Volume 5, #5The Scientist March 4, 1991


With the war in the Persian Gulf intensifying United States citizens' fears of terrorism while traveling abroad, scientists should remember that performing research in certain parts of the world can entail a degree of danger. Of course, the entire Third World is not a uniform hotbed of unrest and violence, although it is sometimes portrayed otherwise. But it's also true that, in some developing countries, periodic or ongoing episodes of ethnic strife, civil discontent, and overall political instability can pose a threat to scientists' personal safety and to the security of their work.

Minimizing the risks is mostly a matter of exercising common sense and listening to the advice of local contacts. In many cases, trouble tends to be restricted to specific locales, which makes it relatively easy to steer clear of the danger zones. When civil...

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