New JASON Report Advocates for Project-by-Project Approach to Sensitive Research Security

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has commissioned a new report from JASON, an independent scientific advisory group, on the implications of imposing broad controls on sensitive research security. The report reaffirms a longstanding policy that fundamental research should remain largely unrestricted unless specific sensitivities require classification. JASON suggests the need for updated research security measures in ways that do not stifle innovation and openness.

The report evaluates international collaborations, especially highlighting concerns with the Chinese government’s approach to fundamental research for military needs and restrictions on information flow. The report recommends a nuanced method where the NSF collaborates with Principal Investigators and their institutions to customize security protocols for projects deemed sensitive, prior to peer review. This recommendation seeks to preserve the essential openness of scientific research while ensuring national security.

NSF intends to review and implement these recommendations by a May 24 deadline.


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