onsdag 22. desember 2021

Harvard professor guilty of hiding ties to Chinese programme

A Harvard University professor has been convicted of hiding ties to a China-run recruitment programme. Charles Lieber was found guilty of making false statements to authorities, filing false tax returns and failing to report a Chinese bank account. His sentencing date is yet to be decided. The 62-year-old was charged in 2020 as part of a US campaign to counter economic espionage from China.

However, some critics say this campaign harms academic research. Prosecutors in Boston said Lieber knowingly hid his involvement in China's "Thousand Talents Plan", which aims to attract foreign research specialists. It has been flagged by the US as a security concern in the past. Lieber, a former head of Harvard's department of chemistry and chemical biology, had in 2011 joined China's Wuhan University of Technology as a scientist.

He was given a monthly salary of $50,000 (£37,000), in addition to living expenses of up to $158,000 for this role. The filings say he was also given more than $1.5m to establish a research lab at the university and, in return, was expected to work for the university, applying for patents and publishing articles in its name.