Lawmakers Author a Congressional Letter Addressing Foreign Influence in U.S. Research

In a notable move addressing concerns over foreign influence in federally funded research, U.S. lawmakers, including Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (CA-18), Rep. Judy Chu (CA-28) and Ranking Member Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD-08), have urged the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to scrutinize the impartiality of current investigations. This request, highlighted in a detailed letter, emphasizes the need for adopting a bias-free and nondiscriminatory attitude towards investment from foreign institutions. The spotlight falls on agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which have been actively investigating researchers with alleged foreign ties.

The lawmakers’ request to the GAO includes critical questions about due process rights for the accused researchers and calls for enhanced transparency and refined policies to eliminate bias, including: “What due process exists for researchers being investigated for alleged foreign influence, and how can they respond to or refute these allegations?” The outcome of this review is expected to influence future policies significantly, advocating for robust due process mechanisms and a more equitable investigative framework.

As the scientific community and stakeholders await a response, the GAO’s decision will set a precedent for how the U.S. navigates the complex interplay between securing its research and upholding the principles of fairness and inclusivity.

Stay tuned to COSSA’s continued coverage for more updates.


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