Nasa ban on Chinese scientists sparks boycott
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Some prominent American astronomers are boycotting a Nasa meeting next month on exoplanets due to a ban on attendance by Chinese scientists, experts told AFP on Tuesday.
The restriction is based on a law passed in 2011 and signed by President Barack Obama that prevents Nasa funds from being used to collaborate with China or host Chinese visitors at US space agency facilities.
Among those leading the boycott are Dr Debra Fischer, an astronomy professor at Yale University and Dr Geoff Marcy, an astronomy professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
"In good conscience, I cannot attend a meeting that discriminates in this way. The meeting is about planets located trillions of miles away, with no national security implications," Dr Marcy wrote in an e-mail to the organisers.