How Scientists Without Borders Works

Get Involved with Scientists Without Borders

Already, Scientists Without Borders boasts roughly 950 members from around the world. These are individuals, organizations and projects, each listed by office location, areas of expertise and the areas in which they work or are willing to work. The site also lists more than 1,200 individuals, organizations and projects that have specific needs.

The services and needs listed on the site vary greatly, covering all facets of agricultural, environmental and health-related projects. Just in the area of public health, for instance, many areas need counselors or translators to help educate communities about disease. Other areas need assistance fixing broken medical equipment or vehicles that will enable them to distribute health care. In many cases, research institutions and academies need the expertise of foreign scientists.

The SWB database continues to grow and getting involved is easy. All you have to do is visit the Web site, sign up for a free account and fill in all the relevant data about your expertise, what you can offer and the regions where you'd like to work or are willing to work. Likewise, signing up to take advantage of the global resources collected on the site is just as easy. Scientists Without Borders seeks to lay the world's scientific needs and resources out for all to see, allowing for a strategic deployment of humanity's scientific capital. As the project progresses, it will also catalog its success stories.

The globalization of science still faces many obstacles, however. For instance, the United States current visa and export regulations are rooted in 1950s policy, reportedly hampering the flow of foreign experts into the country while also limiting or barring scientific publication or exportation that could constitute a national security threat [source: Kaplan]. Critics charge that this and similar regulations pose a serious obstacle to the kind of positive scientific sharing that SWB represents.

Explore the links below to learn even more about Scientists Without Borders and many of the problems it seeks to solve.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Kaplan, Karen. "Scientists without borders." Nature. Feb. 4, 2009. (July 13, 2009)
  • New York Academy of Sciences. (July 13, 2009)
  • Scientists Without Borders. (July 13, 2009)
  • Wu, Corinna. "Scientists Without Borders" Cell. May 16, 2008.