U.S. racial profiling among scientists dents innovation, confidence: white paper

Source: Xinhua| 2021-10-30 15:29:36|Editor: huaxia

NEW YORK, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. racial profiling among scientists of Chinese descent in the last few years is impeding scientific progress and denting scientists' confidence in the United States, according to a white paper by the University of Arizona and the non-profit organization Committee of 100.

The white paper published Thursday presents the finding of a survey on 1,949 faculty members, postdocs and graduate students at top U.S. colleges and universities in the summer of 2021.

Scientists of Chinese descent and of Asian descent reported far greater racial profiling from the U.S. government, difficulty in obtaining research funds, professional challenges and setbacks, and fear and anxiety that they were surveilled by the U.S. government, compared to non-Asian scientists, said the white paper.

As many as 42.2 percent of scientists of Chinese descent felt racially profiled by the U.S. government, while only 8.6 percent of scientists of non-Chinese descent felt so, said the white paper.

Meanwhile, 38.4 percent of scientists of Chinese descent experienced more difficulty in obtaining funding for research projects in the United States as a result of their race, ethnicity or country of origin, compared to only 14.2 percent of scientists of non-Chinese descent, the white paper showed.

"What is clear from this research is that U.S. scientists and researchers of Chinese descent and non-Chinese descent experience the world and their work very differently because of racism, stereotypes, xenophobia, and government policies," said Jenny J. Lee, professor in the Center for the Study of Higher Education, College of Education, at the University of Arizona.

Scientists of Chinese descent have indicated that they have purposely not pursued federal funding for projects for fear of increased scrutiny, compared to scientists of non-Chinese descent, according to the survey.

"The United States is the global leader in scientific research, yet suspicions of scientists of Chinese descent in the United States have made progress and exchanges more difficult," said Zhengyu Huang, president of the Committee of 100.

"Scientists of Chinese descent have also started to consider working in less hostile climates outside the United States, which could affect talent retention. The enrollment of new international graduate students from China has already been declining," said the white paper.

Scientific and educational exchanges are enormously beneficial to both the United States and China, said David Ho, founding scientific director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and professor of medicine at Columbia University.

Any unwarranted restriction or deterrent to open collaborations impedes scientific progress and technological development on both sides of the Pacific, said Ho, who is also a member of the Committee of 100.

"We need to move beyond the stereotypes of the perpetual foreigner and halt the xenophobia being directed at Chinese Americans and the entire Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders community," Huang added. Enditem

KEY WORDS: US,China,Racial Profiling