In DepthScience & Security

NIH reveals its formula for tracking foreign influences

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Science  04 Oct 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6461, pp. 19-20
DOI: 10.1126/science.366.6461.19

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Summary

To fight what it calls China's theft of U.S.-funded intellectual property, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) is focusing on China's foreign talent recruitment programs. NIH has concluded that the Chinese government uses them to obtain confidential grant applications and to establish so-called shadow labs in China, where NIH-funded research can be replicated. And in the wake of a new government report on how it vets potential peer reviewers, it will also pay more attention to the 27,000 researchers who judged the 85,000 proposals NIH received last year. Many Chinese American scientists fear the increased scrutiny will result in unfair ethnic profiling. "Akin to 'driving while black,' there is growing fear of 'researching while Chinese,'" said David Ho, an AIDS researcher at Rockefeller University in New York City, at a conference last weekend in Palo Alto, California, on how tensions between the United States and China are affecting scientists.

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