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In the light of both the anticipated responses to the recent terrorist attacks on the United States, and the actions being taken to avoid similar events in future, scientific leaders are warning that a ‘business as usual’ approach to research may not be feasible.

Both reductions in international travel, for example, and restrictions on the freedom of movement of non-Americans in the United States, could have serious implications for the scientific community, which relies heavily on international collaboration.

An increased focus on security seems inevitable, and policies on the exchange of scientific data may be reviewed as a result. Governmental support of research could also be under threat, as money is channelled towards relief work, rebuilding and anticipated military action.

Reference: Nature 413, 237 (2001)

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