EDITORIAL

Science diplomacy with Cuba

Science  06 Jun 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6188, pp. 1065
DOI: 10.1126/science.1256312

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Summary

Over a century ago, interactions between a Cuban scientist, Carlos Finlay, and a U.S. scientist, Jesse Lazear, led to an understanding of the role of the mosquito in transmitting yellow fever and to the development of effective countermeasures. Today, new infectious diseases confront both Cuba and the United States, but a longstanding diplomatic breach between the two nations now makes such valuable joint research more complicated, if not impossible. It is time for both governments to reconsider the rules that stand in the way of scientific collaboration, before a potentially deadly outbreak spreads through both countries and beyond. In particular, the U.S. government can make a relatively straightforward change to rules that would make collaboration much easier.