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Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Has Forever Changed How the World Does Science

Photo Illustration by Erin O’Flynn/The Daily Beast/Getty Images

Last week, 10 months after Russia invaded his country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an uncertain trip to Washington, D.C. to ask the U.S. for additional aid to finally end the conflict—which continues to stoke fears over environmental catastrophe in the wake of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s nuclear power plants, as well as Russian threats over the use of nuclear weapons. Among other measures, Zelensky asked the U.S. to “strengthen tariffs” against Russia, and render the war financially unsustainable. This would particularly affect areas of science and technology research where Russia has traditionally excelled, including physics, space exploration and climate science.

But despite widespread Western support for Ukraine, it has proven difficult to disentangle U.S. scientific and technical collaborations with Russia. In many cases, resistance is coming from American scientists themselves, who argue that theirs and their colleagues’ work is too important and urgent to disrupt, particularly surrounding climate change research as global warming accelerates.

Days before Zelensky’s speech, an editorial published in Nature magazine urged that science not be treated like a “diplomatic pawn,” and the war “must not become a barrier to countries working together” on to tackle pressing scientific issues such as climate change. Physicist Michael Riordan from the University of California, Santa Cruz espoused a similar sentiment in The New York Times back in late August, proclaiming, “I’m a physicist who doesn’t want Russia to leave the world of science.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Source: Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Has Forever Changed How the World Does Science

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