DOE to limit foreign research collaborations

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Science  15 Feb 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6428, pp. 675-676
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6428.675

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has drafted new restrictions on research collaborations between the scientists it funds and certain foreign governments suspected of trying to steal sensitive technologies. DOE officials are still debating the scope of the new rules, which cover researchers at DOE's 17 national laboratories, as well as grantees. But some scientists are worried that DOE officials are overreacting to growing concerns about scientific espionage and the theft of intellectual property. The new policies would prohibit DOE-funded researchers working in certain "emerging research areas and technologies" from collaborating with colleagues from a yet-to-be-released list of "sensitive" countries. DOE-funded scientists in those fields will not be allowed to visit those countries, nor participate in so-called foreign talent recruitment programs, which typically involve U.S. scientists spending at least some time abroad.