Lab in US Shut Down for Chinese Funding
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-1Lab in US Shut Down for Chinese Funding
0Chinese-American scientists Li Xiaojiang (R) and Li Shihua (L) are shown in an undated photo.
1A university in the U.S. state of Georgia this month dismissed two Chinese-American scientists for not disclosing sources of overseas financing and research ties in China.
2Emory University fired brain scientist Li Xiaojiang, and his wife, Li Shihua, on May 16. 3The two led and operated a laboratory and have worked at Emory for more than 20 years.
4Emory said Li and his wife failed to “fully disclose” overseas sources of research funding and their professional ties to China. 5Investigators took computers and documents and questioned members of their team.
6Both the Lis are U.S. citizens. 7As researchers, they are known for gene-editing technology and studies of Huntington disease in animals.
8Li told Science Insider that he was “shocked” by Emory’s move to terminate him in “such an unusual and abrupt” way. 9He added that he did not receive exact details for the reasons behind his termination.
10The university closed the laboratory while Li was visiting China. 11It gave four Chinese postdoctoral students working there 30 days to leave the United States.
12Li said he had told Emory University about his Chinese research activity every year “since 2012.”
13Emory said it acted on a warning issued by Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States. 14Last August, Collins warned of hidden sources of overseas funding for researchers working at NIH-supported institutions.
15Science Insider reports that the NIH has been in contact with two U.S. universities for several months about whether researchers are following agency rules on revealing foreign funding.
16Emory said in a statement that the two researchers “failed to fully disclose foreign sources of research funding and the extent of their work for research institutions and universities in China.”
17The NIH told Congress that it has identified at least 190 researchers receiving money, known as grants, who may have problematic foreign relationships. 18It also said that at least 55 institutions have begun investigations.
19Li Xiaojiang was a member of the Chinese government’s Thousand Talents Program, which encourages leading professionals to work in China.
20Heng He is a scientific commentator. 21He told Radio Free Asia he was not surprised by the firings.
22He said the Thousand Talents program was a part of the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s general strategy for gaining knowledge and expertise from overseas.
23Heng said, “It’s pretty unique in the world, for a country to use all the power of the machinery of state to mobilize the resources of the whole of society, so that [Chinese] scholars working in the United States can serve the interests of their country.”
I’m Anne Ball
Anne Ball adapted this story based on reports from Radio Free Asia, Science Magazine and the South China Morning Post.
Words in This Story
fire – v. to dismiss someone from a job
disclose – v. to make something known to the public
abrupt – adj. very sudden and not expected
terminate – v. to dismiss someone from a job
postdoctoral – adj. relating to work that is done after a PhD has been completed
obligation – n. something that you must do because of a law, rule, or promise
steward – n. someone who protects or is responsible for money or property
encourage – v. to make (something) more appealing or more likely to happen
talent – n. a special ability that allows someone to do something well
obligation, steward は，英文中では使われていないようです。
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