Letter from Robert S. Adelstein, Christian B. Anfinsen, Julius Axelrod, Jack S. Cohen, Philip Leder, Maxine Singer, Bernhard
Witkop, Earl R. Stadtman to Richard M. Nixon
In this letter, an "Ad Hoc Committee of Scientists," including Anfinsen, wrote to express their concern about the
Soviet government's abuses of scientists and the violation of their basic human rights.
We address you to express our serious concern over the obstacles and hardships imposed by the Soviet Government on the right
of scientists and academicians to leave the U.S.S.R. and to travel abroad.
We strongly favor expansion of scientific exchange between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. and staunchly support the spirit of the
recent bilateral agreements. But, our readiness, personal and professional, to welcome Soviet scientists to our research centers
and laboratories will be impaired by the awareness that many of our colleagues in the U.S.S.R. are prohibited from travelling
abroad and pursuing their scientific careers wherever they may choose.
A wide range of punitive sanctions have been taken against scientists who have applied to emigrate from the U.S.S.R.: dismissal
from positions, prohibition on scientific research, public harassment, arbitrary refusal of exit permits, and finally imposition
of harsh and unreasonable head taxes.
We are profoundly disturbed at these violations of basic human rights. As scientists, moreover, we are especially alarmed
at a policy that undercuts one of the foundations of science -- its international character, which presupposes the free flow
of people and ideas.
We ask you, Mr. President, to take note of our deep concern and to do everything in your power to alleviate this situation
of international significance.