Ramsey Labels 1952 McCarran Act Harmful to Scientific Development

The McCarran Act is a serious threat to the future scientific development of the United States, Norman f. Ramsey, Jr., professor of Physics, charged yesterday. Speaking at the Law School Coffee Hour, Ramsey attached the bill on two counts.

"Practically any detail of how the bill handles things is completely wrong," he said.

He first pointed out that international exchange of scientific information which would be beneficial to the United States is often frustrated by the act, and that a number of fine scientists are lost to the country through a revision in the immigration law affecting professors.

The difficulty and delay involved in obtaining a visa under the act often prevents foreign scientists from attending international scientific conferences in this country and creates ill-will abroad, according to Ramsey.

"By keeping these people out a tremendous amount of harm is done to America's scientific progress and to her prestige," he said.

His second main objection, Ramsey explained is that under former immigration laws many of America's most important physicists entered the country without being subject to the regular immigration quota. But under the McCarran Act this is impossible, with the result that the movement of foreign scientific talent to this country will slow down or cease.

The American Physical Society, the American academy of Science and other non-political group of scientists have adopted resolutions against the act for these reasons Ramsey concluded.