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美国就知识产权盗窃调查多名华裔科学家

    The scientist at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston was too imprudent. "Here are the bones and meat you want," he wrote in misspelled English in an email to Chinese researchers.

    休斯顿MD安德森癌症中心(M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston)的这位科学家太不谨慎。他在发给中国研究人员的电子邮件中用带有拼写错误的英文写道:“这是你想要的骨头和肉。”

    Attached to the email was a confidential research proposal, according to the center's officials. The scientist had access to the document only because the National Institutes of Health had asked him to peer review the proposal, and MD Anderson had reviewed his emails because federal officials had asked them to investigate.

    据该中心的管理人员说,电邮的附件是一份保密的研究提案。那名科学家之所以能够看到这份文件,只是因为美国国家卫生研究院(National Institutes of Health,简称NIH)请他为提案做同行评议,而MD安德森中心之所以检查了他的电子邮件,是因为联邦官员要求他们对其展开调查。

    The NIH and the FBI have embarked on a massive effort to find and remove scientists they say stole biomedical research for other countries from research institutes across the United States. Nearly all of the incidents they have discovered and are investigating involve scientists of Chinese descent, including naturalized U.S. citizens accused of stealing for China.

    NIH和美国联邦调查局(FBI)已开始了一项巨大的努力,找到并除掉他们所说从美国各地的研究机构为他国窃取生物医学研究成果的科学家。他们已经发现并正在调查的几乎所有事件都涉及华裔科学家,包括归化的美国公民,这些人被指控为中国行窃。

    Seventy-one institutions, including many of the country's most prestigious medical schools, are currently investigating 180 cases involving potential intellectual property theft. The cases began last year when the NIH, spurred by information from the FBI, sent 18,000 official letters urging those in charge of managing government research funding to be vigilant.

    包括美国许多最负盛名的医学院在内的71家机构,目前正在调查180起涉及潜在知识产权盗窃的案子。在FBI所提供信息的推动下,NIH去年发出1.8万封公函敦促负责管理政府研究经费的人保持警惕,这些案子由此开始。

    So far, the NIH has turned over 24 cases of possible criminal activity to the inspector general's office at the Department of Health and Human Services, which may turn them over to the criminal prosecutions division. "This problem seems to affect every discipline in biomedical research," said Dr. Michael Lauer, the NIH's associate director for out-of-hospital research.

    到目前为止,NIH已将24个可能有犯罪活动证据的案件移交给了卫生与公众服务部(Department of Health and Human Services)的监察长办公室,后者可能会将这些案件移交给刑事诉讼部门。“这个问题似乎影响到生物医学研究的每个学科,”NIH负责院外研究的副主任迈克尔·劳尔(Michael Lauer)博士说。

    The investigations have added to concerns that China is exploiting the relative openness of the us scientific system to engage in large-scale economic espionage. At the same time, the scale of the dragnet scrutiny has sent shivers down the spine of biomedical researchers, some of whom say the investigation is unfairly targeting chinese-american scientists as the geopolitical rivalry between Washington and Beijing intensifies.

    这些调查加剧了人们对中国正在利用美国科学体系的相对开放性,从事大规模经济间谍活动的担忧。与此同时,这种拉网式审查的规模让生物医学研究人员不寒而栗,其中一些人说,随着华盛顿与北京的地缘政治竞争加剧,调查正在不公平地把华裔科学家作为审查对象。

    You can make a list of medical schools with important research projects into darts targets, and I would say you have a 50-50 chance of hitting a school that's doing a survey, said Dr. Ross McKinney Jr., chief scientific officer of the Association of American medical colleges.

    “你可以把有重要研究项目的医学院名单做成掷飞镖游戏的镖靶,依我看,你会有50%的概率击中一个正在进行调查的学校,”美国医学院校联合会(Association of American medical colleges)的首席科学官小罗斯·麦金尼(Ross McKinney Jr.)博士说。

    The alleged theft involved not military secrets but scientific ideas, designs, devices, data and methods that might yield benefits from new treatments or diagnostic tools.

    被指控的盗窃行为所涉及的不是军事秘密,而是可能带来收益的新疗法或诊断工具的科学创意、设计、设备、数据和方法。

    Some of the researchers under investigation have already obtained patents in China using research funded by the U.S. government and owned by U.S. institutions, the NIH said. Others are suspected of setting up laboratories in China to secretly replicate their research in the United States, government officials and university administrators said.

    NIH说,一些接受调查的研究人员用美国政府资助、美国机构拥有的研究成果,已经在中国获取了专利。政府官员和大学管理人员说,还有些人涉嫌在中国设立实验室,秘密地复制他们在美国的研究。

    The NIH has not released the names of most of the scientists under investigation, citing due process, and most of the agencies involved have not released their names. "As with any personnel matter, we usually do not release the names or details of those affected," said Brette Peyton, a spokeswoman for MD Anderson.

    NIH没有公开大多数接受调查的科学家的名字,理由是正当程序,大多数调查涉及的机构也没有公布名字。“与任何人事事宜一样,我们通常不会透露受影响人员的姓名或详细信息,”MD安德森中心的发言人布蕾特·佩顿(Brette Peyton)说。

    But so far, more than a dozen scientists have resigned or been fired from universities and research centers across the country. Some of the men declined to discuss the charges against them or denied any wrongdoing.

    但据了解,到目前为止,已有十几名科学家从美国各地的大学和研究中心辞职或被单位解雇。这些人中有的拒绝讨论针对他们的指控,有的则否认有任何不当行为。

    In some cases, scientists who received funding from the NIH or other federal agencies have been accused of violating NIH rules by simultaneously receiving funding from the Chinese government. Some said they did not know the arrangement had to be disclosed or banned.

    在有些案子中,获得了NIH或其他联邦机构经费支持的科学家被指控同时接受了中国政府的资助,违反了NIH的规定。一些人说,他们不知道这种安排必须披露或被禁止。

    In August, tao feng, a 48-year-old chemist at the University of Kansas, was charged with four counts of fraud for allegedly taking federal funds while failing to disclose his full-time job at a Chinese University.

    今年8月,堪萨斯大学(University of Kansas)48岁的化学家陶丰被控犯有四项欺诈罪,据称他在拿联邦资金的同时,没有披露在一所中国大学的全职工作。

    Mr. Tao's lawyer, Peter r. Zeidenberg, declined to comment on the case, but suggested that prosecutors were targeting scholars across the country for simple mistakes.

    陶丰的律师彼得·R·蔡登伯格(Peter R. Zeidenberg)拒绝就该案予以置评,但暗示检方是在全国范围内将犯过简单错误的学者作为打击目标。

    College professors have summer vacations, Mr. Zeidenberg said in an interview. "They often take up positions in China during the summer holidays. They don't think they have to report it to the university."

    “大学教授们有暑假,”蔡登伯格在一次采访中说。“他们常常会在暑假期间在中国担任职务。他们并不认为必须要把这种职务报告给大学。”

    The next thing they knew, they were being charged with wire fraud and facing 20 years in prison, he added. "You think this is a joke?"

    “接下来的事情是,他们正在被控电信欺诈,面临20年监禁的惩罚,”他补充说。“让人觉得,这不是开玩笑吧?”

    The survey has made Chinese and chinese-american scholars feel that "they will be targeted and put at risk," said wu huayang, a Law professor at the University of California Hastings School of the Law and former President of the Committee of 100, an elite chinese-american group.

    调查已让中国籍和美籍华裔学者感到“他们将成为目标,面临风险”,加州大学黑斯廷斯法学院(University of California Hastings School of the Law)法学教授吴华扬说,他曾任精英华裔美国人组织“百人会”(Committee of 100)的会长。

    Wu and other critics say the cases are reminiscent of the U.S. government's five-year investigation into Mr. Lee. Mr. Li, a former scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, was accused of stealing China's nuclear warhead program in 1999 and held for several months until the government case was largely dismissed. He pleaded guilty to one count of mishandling classified information.

    吴华扬和其他批评人士表示,这些案子让人想起美国政府对李文和长达五年的调查。李文和曾是洛斯阿拉莫斯国家实验室(Los Alamos National Laboratory)的科学家,1999年,他被指控为中国盗窃核弹头方案,并被关押了好几个月,直至政府的案子基本上不成立后才获释。他只承认了一项对保密信息处理不当的罪名。

    蛐蛐英语 www.qqenglish.com

    More recently, the justice department has been forced to drop theft charges against at least four chinese-american scientists since 2014: two former Eli Lilly scientists in indiana, a National Weather Service hydrologist in Ohio and a professor at Temple University in Philadelphia. In 2016, the justice department changed its rules to give greater oversight of these national security cases to prosecutors in Washington.

    更近的还有,美国司法部已被迫撤销了2014年以来针对至少四名华裔美国科学家的盗窃指控:印第安纳州的两名礼来公司(Eli Lilly)前科学家、俄亥俄州的一名国家气象局(National Weather Service)水文专家,以及费城天普大学(Temple University)的一名教授。2016年,司法部修改了规定,把对这些国家安全案件的更大监管权交给了华盛顿的检察官。

    But lauer and other officials said investigations of biomedical research had uncovered clear evidence of wrongdoing. In one case, lauer and MD Anderson officials said, a scientist was intercepted at an airport en route to China after packing a computer hard drive containing research data in a box.

    但劳尔和其他官员说,对生物医学研究的调查已发现了明显的不法行为证据。劳尔和MD安德森中心的官员说,在该中心的一起案子中,一名科学家将包含研究数据的计算机硬盘装在一个箱子里,在前往中国途中在机场被截获。

    They argue that the cases generally paint a disturbing picture of economic espionage, and that the Chinese government has been exploiting the U.S. system of biomedical research based on trust and free exchange of ideas.

    他们争辩说,这些案件在总体上描绘出一幅令人不安的经济间谍活动画面,中国政府一直在利用美国建立在信任和自由思想交流基础上的生物医学研究体系。

    How would you feel if you were an American scientist and you submitted your best idea to the government when you applied for funding, only to have someone working on your project in China? "McKinney asked.

    “如果你是一位美国科学家,你在向政府申请资金时,把自己最好的想法提交给了政府,结果却有人在中国进行你的项目,你会作何感想?”麦金尼问道。

    This is something we've never seen before.

    “这是我们从未见过的。”

    NIH's concerns about the theft of biomedical research date back at least to June 2016, when the FBI approached NIH officials with unusual questions.

    NIH对生物医学研究被盗的担忧至少可追溯到2016年6月,当时,FBI与NIH官员进行了接触,提出了一些不同寻常的问题。

    How does peer review work? What precautions were taken? "They need to know how our system works, for example, compared to defense systems," lauer said.

    同行评议是怎样进行的?采取了怎样的防范措施?“他们需要知道我们的系统如何运作,比如与国防系统相比,”劳尔说。

    The F.B.I. declined to discuss the ongoing investigation, including why so many were launched and how it chose its targets. But Christopher Wray, the F.B.I. director, told the senate judiciary committee in July that China was using "unconventional intelligence gatherers" and trying to "steal its way up the economic ladder at our expense."

    FBI拒绝讨论正在进行的调查,包括为什么发起了这么多调查,以及如何选定调查对象。但FBI局长克里斯托弗·雷(Christopher Wray)今年7月曾对参议院司法委员会说,中国正在利用“非传统的情报收集者”,并试图“以我们为代价,通过窃取的方式爬上经济阶梯”。

    The FBI's national office of counterintelligence in Houston asked officials at the Texas academic and medical center to attend a classified meeting in the summer of 2018 to discuss evidence of intellectual property theft. Managers were given urgent security clearances and told to sign non-disclosure agreements.

    FBI设在休斯顿的反商业间谍全国办公室要求得克萨斯州学术和医疗中心的管理人员在2018年夏季参加保密会议,讨论知识产权被盗的取证问题。管理人员获得了紧急的安全审查许可,并被告知需要签署保密协议。

    Next, based on information from the FBI and other sources, NIH began sending letters to medical centers around the country in late August 2018 asking administrators to investigate individual scientists.

    接下来,在FBI和其他来源的信息基础上,NIH于2018年8月下旬开始向全国各地的医学中心发出公函,要求管理人员对个别的科学家展开调查。

    This is something we've never seen before, lauer said. "It took us a while to realize the magnitude of the problem."

    “这是我们从未见到过的事情,”劳尔说。“我们过了一段时间才意识到问题的严重性。”

    Some of the first signs of trouble were discovered by officials at the MD Anderson center, a prominent cancer research and treatment center. Between August 2018 and January 2019, the center received five official letters from NIH asking administrators to investigate the activities of five faculty members.

    问题的一些最初迹象是MD安德森中心的管理人员发现的,这是一家著名的癌症研究和治疗中心。在2018年8月至2019年1月这段时间里,中心收到了五封NIH的公函,要求管理人员调查五名教职工的活动。

    Dr. Peter Pisters, the director of the cancer center, said he and his colleagues reviewed the faculty emails and found disturbing evidence.

    癌症中心主任彼得·彼斯特斯(Peter Pisters)博士说,他和同事们查看了这些教职工的电子邮件,发现了令人不安的证据。

    One of the emails the center provided to the New York times with some of the information was written by a scientist who planned to rush proprietary lab materials to his Chinese colleagues. "I should be able to bring you the whole set of primers (if I can figure out how to get on a plane with a dozen frozen DNA tubes)," he wrote.

    在中心提供给《纽约时报》隐去某些信息的电子邮件中,有一封是一位打算把中心专有的实验材料匆匆带给中国同事的科学家所写。他写道:“我应该能把整套引物都带给你(如果我能想出带着十几个冷冻DNA管子登飞机的办法的话)。”

    The emails from MD Anderson, which contain some information, also suggest that a scientist at the medical center sent data and research to the Chinese government in exchange for a one-year "appointment" of $75,000 under the name of the thousand talents program. The thousand talents program is a program set up ten years ago in Beijing to recruit scientists to work in Chinese universities.

    这些隐去某些信息的MD安德森中心电子邮件还暗示,该医学中心的一名科学家为换取“千人计划”名义下的7.5万美元的一年“聘任”,把数据和研究发给了中国政府。“千人计划”是北京十年前设立的一个招聘科学家到中国大学工作的项目。

    According to an internal report on the investigation, the researchers were legally obliged to disclose such payments to the NIH and their academic institutions, but the scientist did not do so.

    根据一份有关调查的内部报告,研究人员有法律义务向NIH和所在学术机构披露这种报酬,但这名科学家没有那样做。

    Another MD Anderson scientist forwarded a confidential research proposal to a contact in China: "attached is an application for a study on mitochondrial DNA mutations in tumor development. Please keep it to yourself."

纽约时报中英文网 http://www.qqenglish.com/

    MD安德森中心还有一位科学家把一份保密的研究计划转发给了中国的一位联系人,他在转发时写道:“附件是一份关于肿瘤发展中线粒体DNA突变的研究申请。请不要外传。”

    MD Anderson officials say three of the five scientists surveyed have resigned and one has retired. The fifth scientist under investigation may not have committed violations serious enough to warrant dismissal.

    MD安德森中心的管理人员说,五名接受调查的科学家中,三名已辞职,一名已退休。第五名被调查的科学家的违法行为也许还没有严重到要被解雇的程度。

    Dr. Wu, who left the MD Anderson center and is now dean of the school of public health at zhejiang university in China, declined to comment on the circumstances of her resignation. "I wanted to focus on my research," she said.

    吴息凤博士离开了MD安德森中心,现任中国浙江大学公共卫生学院院长,她拒绝对自己是在什么情况下辞职的发表评论。“我想把精力放在我的研究上,”她说。

    MD Anderson is not the only institution dealing with possible scientific misconduct.

    MD安德森中心并不是唯一一家要应对可能的科学不端行为的机构。

    Last month, a scientist couple, zhou yu, 49, and Chen li, 46, were accused of stealing technology developed by the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, where they had worked for 10 years, applying for a patent in China and setting up biotechnology companies in China and the United States.

    上个月,一对科学家夫妇——49岁的周宇和46岁陈莉被指控盗取他们工作了10年的俄亥俄州哥伦布市全国儿童医院(Nationwide Children’s Hospital)开发的技术,用其在中国申请了专利,并在中国和美国成立了生物技术公司。

    Glenn Seiden, Ms. Zhou's lawyer, said in an email that the couple had committed no crimes and that Ms. Zhou was a "trailblazer" for scientific research.

    周宇的律师格伦·塞登(Glenn Seiden)在电子邮件中说,这对夫妇没有犯任何罪,周宇是科学研究的“开路先锋”。

    In may, two scientists at Emory University in Atlanta, Dr. Li xiaojiang and Dr. Li shihua, were fired after the school found that Mr. Li had received funding from China's thousand talents program.

    今年5月,亚特兰大埃默里大学(Emory University)的两名科学家李晓江博士和李世华博士被开除,因为校方发现李晓江接受了中国“千人计划”的资助。

    The couple have been working at emory university for more than 20 years, studying huntington's disease. The school declined to provide more information.

    这对夫妇已在埃默里大学工作了20多年,他们从事亨廷顿舞蹈症的研究。校方拒绝提供更多有关信息。

    They treat us like criminals, Mr. Li said in an interview near jinan university in southern China, where he and his wife work. He disputed that they had not disclosed their ties to China to emory.

    “他们把我们当罪犯对待,”李晓江在中国南方的暨南大学附近接受采访时说,李晓江夫妇现在暨南大学工作。他反驳了他们没有向埃默里大学披露与中国的关系的说法。

    Our work is for all mankind, Mr. Li added. "You can't say if I work in China, I'm not loyal to the United States."

    “我们的工作是为全人类的,”李世华补充说。“你不能说,如果我在中国工作,我就不忠于美国。”

    In July, Dr. Kang zhang, the former head of ophthalmic genetics at the University of California, San Diego, resigned after local reporters revealed his ties to a Chinese biotechnology company that appeared to rely on his research at the University.

    今年7月,加州大学圣迭戈分校(University of California, San Diego)前眼科遗传学负责人张康博士辞职,此前当地记者披露了他与中国一家生物科技公司的关系,这家公司似乎靠的是他在该校所做的研究。

    Zhang kang, also a member of the thousand talents program, did not tell the school about his selection. His lawyer, Leo Cunningham, said Mr. Zhang's suspension had nothing to do with his involvement with the Chinese biotechnology company or the thousand talents program, but rather with his conduct as a clinical trial researcher two years ago.

    张康也是“千人计划”入选者,他并没有告诉校方他入选的事情。他的律师利奥·坎宁汉姆(Leo Cunningham)说,张康被停职与他参与该中国生物科技公司或“千人计划”没有关系,而是与他两年前担任一项临床试验研究员时的行为有关。

    What came to light was a "chain of events," lauer said.

    曝光出来的是“一连串事件”,劳尔说。

    Federal officials say the Chinese start-ups are based on taxpayer-funded NIH science and medical technology. "We know that some of the companies that were founded in China were based on research that we funded," raul said.

    联邦官员说,中国的初创企业是建立在NIH用纳税人的钱研发出来的科学和医疗技术基础之上的。“我们知道有些在中国成立的公司是建立在我们提供了资金的研究之上的,”劳尔说。

    According to lauer, some chinese-american scientists have also secretly obtained Chinese patents for research done in the United States, and some of the researchers enrolled in the thousand talents project have contracts requiring them to share confidential information or other laboratory discoveries obtained in the United States with the Chinese government.

    据劳尔说,一些华裔科学家还偷偷地用在美国做的研究获得了中国的专利,一些入选“千人计划”的研究人员签的合同要求他们把在美国获得的保密信息或其他实验室的发现提供给中国政府。

    If NIH funds research, the American taxpayer should get the results, says McKinney of the American association of medical schools. "But if a project is funded by China, it is transferring intellectual property to China."

    “如果NIH为研究提供了资金,美国纳税人应该能得到研究的成果,”美国医学院协会的麦金尼说。“但如果一个项目也得到了中国的资助,那就是在把知识产权转移到中国。”

    Espionage or racism?

    间谍活动还是种族歧视?

    Federal and academic officials stressed that they did not target Chinese researchers because of their ethnicity. But the F.B.I. 's silence about how so many investigations began has heightened concerns that the government's efforts to spot economic spies could see all Chinese and chinese-american scientists as one and the same, making it harder to attract Chinese students and scholars.

    联邦和学术官员都强调,他们不是因为华裔研究人员的族裔而把他们作为调查对象的。但FBI对如此多的调查是怎么开始的保持沉默,加剧了人们的担忧,即政府发现经济间谍的努力可能会让所有中国籍和美籍华裔科学家都被看成一丘之貉,这也加大了吸引中国学生和学者的难度。

    We can't tell who is guilty and who is not, but we can see the real impact on Chinese americans, said wu huayang, a law professor. "People live in fear. It's a matter of impact, not intention."

    “我们不能判断谁有罪、谁无罪,但我们能看到对华裔的实际影响,”法学教授吴华扬说。“人们生活在恐惧之中。这是一个影响的问题,而不是意向的问题。”

    Mr Wu has seen a sharp shift in attitudes towards China and its people as the trump administration has taken a tougher line against China, including levying tariffs designed to punish intellectual property violations.

    随着特朗普政府对中国采取更强硬的立场,包括征收旨在惩罚侵犯知识产权行为的关税,吴华扬看到了人们对中国和中国人态度的急剧转变。

    I now regularly receive phone calls and emails from Chinese who feel threatened, including naturalized Chinese in the United States, Mr. Wu said. But few are willing to come forward and publicly accuse racism, he added.

    “我现在经常接到来自感觉受到威胁的华人,包括已入了美国籍的华人的电话和电子邮件,”吴华扬说。但很少有人愿意站出来公开指控种族歧视,他补充说。

    In raul's view, allegations of racial discrimination are unfounded. "Not all cases of foreign influence involve China," he said. "Although that is true in the vast majority of cases."

    在劳尔看来,种族歧视的指控毫无根据。“并不是所有的外国影响案件都涉及中国,”他说。“虽然绝大多数案件的确如此。”

    The real question, he added, was how to maintain an open exchange of scientific ideas in the face of growing security concerns. MD Anderson center managers are tightening controls and reducing free access to data.

    他补充说,真正的问题是,在日益增长的安全担忧面前,如何保持科学思想的公开交流。MD安德森中心的管理人员正在加强控制,减少数据的自由获取。

    Center personnel are no longer able to use personal laptops over the center's wireless network. The center also banned the use of USB drives and USB ports. All employees' computers can now be monitored remotely.

    中心人员已不能在中心的无线网络上使用个人的笔记本电脑。中心还禁止了U盘的使用,禁用了USB端口。所有员工的计算机现在都能被远程监控。

    The NIH is also tightening up. It recommends limiting the ability of those reviewing research grant applications to download or print them. Those who travel to certain areas should use borrowed computers designed for travel, the NIH said, and academic institutions should be wary of scientists who frequently travel abroad or co-publish papers with colleagues outside the United States.

    NIH也在加强管理。它建议对评审研究经费申请的人限制他们下载或打印申请书的能力。NIH说,那些到某些地区旅行的人应该使用专为旅行准备的借用电脑,学术机构应该对频繁出国旅行或与美国以外的同事频繁联名发表论文的科学家保持警觉。

    The National Science Foundation has commissioned an independent scientific advisory panel to advise on balancing openness and security concerns and to warn employees against participating in projects such as China's thousand talents initiative.

    美国国家科学基金会(National Science Foundation)已委托一个独立的科学咨询小组,为平衡开放和安全考虑出谋划策,并对雇员发出警告,禁止他们参与如中国“千人计划”这样的项目。

    The F.B.I. has provided research organizations with tools to search for Chinese keywords in emails that could alert managers to violations, Mr. McKinney said.

    FBI已给研究机构提供了在电子邮件中搜素中文关键词的工具,这些关键词可能会提示管理人员存在违规行为,麦金尼说。

    It's going to have a hard effect on long-term trust, he said. "We have not seen systematic fraud before."

    “这将对长期的信任关系产生让我们难以面对的影响,”他说。“我们以前没见到过系统性的欺诈行为。”

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