The National Institutes of Health（NIH）appreciates the concerns expressed in the thoughtful letter from Lu et al. on behalf of the Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America, the Chinese American Hematologist and Oncologist Network, and the Chinese Biological Investigators Society. NIH greatly values scientists of Chinese descent as members of the American biomedical research enterprise. For decades, scientists of Chinese descent have contributed substantially to scientific innovations at research institutions across the United States. Collaborations with Chinese institutions have been critical to moving science forward. The vast majority of Chinese scientists working in America are honorable, conscientious, and dedicated to the cause of expanding knowledge for the betterment of humankind.
Unfortunately, instances have recently come to light where certain scientists, including some with links to foreign institutions and/or governments, have violated the honor-based systems and practices of the American research enterprise（1）. Convened to address the issue, The NIH Advisory Committee to the Director working group（2）carefully considered how to ensure fairness of the grant process and intellectual property principles, while seeking to minimize jeopardy to innocent foreign nationals and important international collaborations. The working group recommendations apply to all foreign scientists, not just those of Chinese descent.
We are determined to maintain the integrity of the NIH research enterprise, but we are also deeply concerned about the issues raised by these three societies. NIH is committed to avoiding overreaction, stigmatization, harassment, and profiling. We will use our influence and bully pulpit as necessary to speak out against such prejudicial actions, for which there is no place in the biomedical research community.
References and Notes:
1. “NIH asks inspector general to investigate 12 allegations of foreign influence in U.S. research,”STAT News（2019）;
3. National Institutes of Health Advisory Committee to the Director