KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Friday, October 29, 2021

US Discrimination Against Chinese Scientists Is Harming Scientific Research

It is vital that that we in the USA consider what harm it is doing to scientific research to discriminate against Chinese scientists here in our nation. I edit for many Chinese scientists and physicians, and they do important work that is needed by the entire world. I respect them a great deal and wish that none of them ever encountered discrimination here or, while in China, from US science journals and textbook publishers.

As noted in the white paper "Racial Profiling Among Scientists of Chinese Descent and Consequences for the U.S. Scientific Community," about research conducted by Jenny J. Lee, Xiaojie Li, and the staff of the Committee of 100:

  "The problem of racial profiling in the scientific community will not be eradicated with the elimination of particular federal policies or the clarification of procedures alone. More work is needed to combat the current wave of anti-Asian hate in the U.S. Universities should consider similar studies to examine the campus racial climate. As exemplified by some scientists’ comments [in our study], anti-China sentiments within universities exist. Institutional studies might ask: How have the China Initiative, other anti-China policies, and anti-China rhetoric further fueled anti-Asian hate in academia and our university? How does anti-Asian racism negatively impact scientific discovery? How can decentralized institutional units, such as export control, internationalization, and faculty/student support, better align?

  "Greater advocacy and support for Asian scientists in the U.S. are especially needed in order for them to continue pursuing scientific inquiry across borders without fear of prejudice, profiling, or persecution. While intellectual security must remain a priority, so too must civil liberties be maintained. With that in mind, an enduring question for academic leaders, policymakers, and researchers remains: How can we maintain the spirit of international scientific collaboration while protecting intellectual property? While we continue to seek answers and propose better solutions, our attempts should carefully consider how we can uphold, rather than sacrifice, America’s academic freedom and global leadership in science."

Zhuo Chen, an author I have edited for in the past and someone I respect greatly, wrote a commentary on the white paper: "Crouching Trouble, Hidden Discrimination—the Predicament of Chinese Scientists in the United States." I agree strongly with what he says:

  "It is welcoming news that the Committee of 100 and Professor Lee have taken on this task to assess the impact of the discriminatory actions towards scientists of Chinese descent in the US. As Ambassador Gary Lock forcefully put in his remarks, 'The method the U.S. Justice Department has adapted through efforts such as the "China Initiative" results in unacceptable damage to the lives of innocent Chinese Americans and, if left uncorrected, will likely harm vital American economic and national security.' [6]  It is urgent to reverse the discriminatory practices and hate crimes—as the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and the exposure and shutdown of the 'rogue' unit with the Department of Commerce have rightfully done. [7,8]"

And finally, as reported in the white paper by Lee et al, a non–Asian American professor of engineering said:

  "Finding a way to come together with China is necessary for the U.S. to advance in the 21st Century and beyond. The cultures of the world are bound together at this time so the sooner we realize this truth the better it will be for all people. Also, as we move into space exploration and understanding, working together with experts from China will accelerate the advancements to come. To not work together with China will greatly suppress the pace and impact of space initiatives. It will be a substantial setback. The 21st Century is, for the first time, a potentially united world in a broad sense. That is why connecting to China is so critical for all humanity."

You can download and read the white paper here.

You can download and read Zhuo Chen's commentary here.

If you have connections in the US science community, please consider sharing this post with them. That way, you can perhaps help reduce discrimination against Chinese scientists.

#science #research #China #Chinese #discrimination #publishing #journals #textbooks #editing #editors #EditorMom

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