It started with a tweet.
Jürgen Kleine-Vehn, a plant scientist based in Austria, had just read about the story of Samira Asgari, one of many Iranian scientists affected by President Trump’s executive order banning citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. On Saturday, Asgari was headed to Boston to start a postdoctoral fellowship on tuberculosis, but was prevented from boarding a plane in Frankfurt. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of scientists have been similarly affected, as I reported on Sunday.
“I cannot believe what is happening,” Kleine-Vehn tweeted.
Magnus Nordborg, another Austrian-based plant scientist, replied: “I think we can host people who are stuck, right? Preferably in a suitable lab, of course.”
Others were thinking along similar lines. The Gulbenkian Institute in Portugal had pledged to “provide what aid we can to scientists trapped by [the immigration ban],” and the Brain and Spine Institute in Belgium said it was “ready to welcome all …