The U.S. government is trying to solve a difficult problem: How to protect scientific research from China-linked theft, without quashing international collaboration or resorting to racial profiling.
- Working with the National Institutes of Health, the FBI last year launched a sweeping investigation into research institutions’ links to China.
Driving the news: In one of the most high-profile cases to date, last week federal prosecutors charged Charles Lieber, chair of the Harvard University chemistry department, with lying about funds he obtained through a Chinese government recruitment program.
- Lieber is a rare case of a non-Chinese person arrested for failing to disclose China ties.
A recent report proposes existing disclosure practices should be enough to address foreign influence in research, including problems with coercion and theft.
- But the process of disclosure isn’t standardized across agencies and institutions and can be unclear for researchers.
- “Improving disclosure and transparency is probably the most important recommendation,” Remco Zwetsloot of Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology said of the report from the JASON program at MITRE Corp.
- “Universities and scientists are asking for clarification in guidance and standardization across the agencies.”
Read the full article at Axios.