Eyes Above The Waves

Robert O'Callahan. Christian. Repatriate Kiwi. Hacker.

Thursday 26 January 2017

Really, Please Stop Booking International Conferences In The USA

Last year I opined that international organizations should stop booking conferences in the USA in case Trump became President and followed through on his promise to ban Muslims from entering the country.

That particular risk soared when he was unexpectedly elected, then decreased given he seems to have backtracked on a blanket Muslim ban. Still, it feels like almost anything could happen, and because conference locations have to be booked pretty far ahead, IMHO prudence still means preferring non-USA venues until the future becomes more clear. (The pre-Trump ESTA changes asking for social media account data are also quite troubling. It makes me wonder whether I'm making trouble just posting this .. and I shouldn't have to.)

I especially suggest that if you're one of those people who sees Trump as a clear and present danger to American democracy and social order, it doesn't really make sense to be comfortable with organizing international conferences there.

(To be clear: I'm not calling for some kind of boycott to punish Americans for making "the wrong choice". It's simply about making sure international conferences are as inclusive and congenial as possible.)