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NAS suspends collaboration with China.

NAS suspends collaboration with China

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is "shocked and dismayed by the action of Chinese government troops against peaceful demonstrators in Tiananmen Square and elsewhere in Beijing, with such great loss of life," NAS President Frank Press said in a telex to Chinese officials last week. "While we earnestly hope to maintain our cooperation with . . . Chinese institutions," he added, "we must suspend all activities for th time being. We do so in outrage and sadness."

According to Robert B. Geyer, who heads NAS' China office in Washington, D.C., those most strongly affected by the NAS action are 35 U.S. nationals in China -- a mix of doctoral candidates, postdoctoral scholars and other researchers who are there for short-term teaching stints. The number probably would have been much higher, he says, had the action not occurred at the end of a school year.

All of these individuals have been "strongly urged" to leave China, Geyer says. Because some are field researchers in remote areas without phones or firm mailing addresses, only half have confirmed receiving that urging. One individual has announced an intention to ride out this uncertain period. The four or five Chines scholars visiting the United States through NAS exchanges, and the two or three more scheduled to arrive soon, are welcome to stay, Geyer adds.

NAS' cancellation of a biotechnology conference in Shanghai earlier this month was the first scientific casualty of the Chinese political tensions. The next likely victim is this summer's expedition by U.S. social, agricultural and environmental researchers collecting data for the third year of a five-year field project in the rural Shandong province.
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Title Annotation:Science & Society; United States National Academy of Sciences
Publication:Science News
Date:Jun 17, 1989
Words:278
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