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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Scientists discuss leaving the U.S. in this week's Expert Voices.

As the conditions for excellent research improve in many countries around the world, it is unavoidable that more and more U.S.-trained researchers will spend at least part of their careers abroad. This is not my big concern. Scientific research is not a zero-sum enterprise, where one country's gain is another's loss. Uncertain funding in the U.S. and impediments to open collaboration — like restrictions on immigration and visas or even social biases against foreigners — may increase incentives for researchers to go abroad; more importantly, those conditions, and anything else that makes scientific collaboration less easy, harms America.

The bottom line: It is not the flow of American scientists abroad that concerns me. It is the discouragement of the free flow of researchers in and out of our country — Americans and non-Americans.

Other voices in the conversation:

Go deeper

34 mins ago - World

Jimmy Lai among Hong Kong pro-democracy leaders sentenced to prison

Students standing under a banner during a flag raising ceremony on the first annual National Security Education Day in Hong Kong. Photo: Vernon Yuen/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A Hong Kong court sentenced a group of the city's most prominent pro-democracy activists to up to 18 months in prison Friday for organizing a massive unauthorized protest in August 2019 that drew an estimated 1.7 million people, AP reports.

Why it matters: Critics say the sentences send the message that even peaceful pro-democracy activism will be severely punished. They mark a continuation of Beijing's overhaul of Hong Kong's political structure, designed to crack down opposition to the Chinese Communist Party.

Local news moves to the inbox

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A slew of new companies are launching platforms for local newsletters, a shift that could help finally bring the local news industry into the digital era.

Driving the news: Substack, the email publishing platform for independent journalists, on Thursday announced a new local news platform.

J&J vaccine pause hurts its reputation

Reproduced from Economist/YouGov poll; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans' confidence in the safety of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine took a big dip this week after the pause in its use, per new YouGov polling, even though the risk of blood clots following the shot is extremely low, if it exists at all.

Why it matters: For the majority of people, particularly high-risk Americans, getting the J&J shot is almost certainly less dangerous than remaining vulnerable to the coronavirus.

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