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Human Rights Fades as a Cause for Scientists

Science  09 Oct 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5387, pp. 216-219
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5387.216

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After decades of raucous agitation on behalf of Soviet dissidents during the Cold War and a brief resurgence after the crushing of a student-led pro-democracy movement at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on 4 June 1989, many organizations have seen scientist interest in human rights decline. Human-rights activists in the scientific community cite the end of the Cold War, a deep split within the expatriate Chinese scientific community over Tiananmen Square, and the release by the Chinese government of some high-profile dissidents as factors in this decline. The overall mood shift has left those scientists who are still speaking out about human rights bewildered and frustrated.