Elias Zerhouni: Fear of ‘targeted discrimination’ against Chinese-American scientists threatens an exodus of talent. What do you think?
The recent dismissal of several Chinese-American biomedical scientists believed to have violated the rules on disclosure — or suspected of being scientific spies for China — has Elias Zerhouni concerned about the future of biotech and science in general in the US. And he believes something should be done about it. Now.
The former NIH chief, as well as the recently retired head of R&D at Sanofi, sounded a clear warning in an op-ed piece for Science that these dismissals threaten thousands of Chinese-born scientists working in the US — and who clearly want to remain here. The US needs to balance the need for vigilance in maintaining trade secrets while keeping open the collaborative lines of communication that have been encouraged in scientific fields for years, he writes. And particular care needs to be applied when enforcing old and long-neglected rules on working with Chinese institutions and investigators.
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