you're reading...
Defence & Aerospace

NASA reverses conference’s ban on Chinese scientists

The conference on Nasa's Kepler space telescope programme is an important academic event for scientists who work in the field

The conference on Nasa’s Kepler space telescope programme is an important academic event for scientists who work in the field

The US space agency has said it will allow Chinese scientists to attend an astronomy conference in California next month, reversing an earlier ban.

NASA put the earlier ban down to a misinterpretation of its policy on foreign nationals.

Chinese officials had called the rejection of Chinese scientists’ applications a form of discrimination.

The event for scientists who research planets beyond the solar system will be held at Ames Research Center.

The bar on Chinese scientists, revealed earlier this month, was prompted by new counter-espionage legislation restricting foreign nationals’ access to Nasa facilities, Nasa spokesman Allard Beutel told the BBC.

The conference will be attended by US and international researchers who work on Nasa’s Kepler space telescope programme.


The agency faced criticism from Chinese officials and US scientists who claimed Chinese students and researchers in their labs were being subjected to discrimination.

In recent weeks, a growing number of US scientists decided to boycott the meeting in protest, with senior researchers withdrawing individually or pulling out their entire research groups.

“The initial decision was based on a misinterpretation of the agency’s policy regarding foreign nationals,” Mr Beutel said.

“We were able to clarify that interpretation and correct the decision, but it didn’t happen until the federal government reopened last Thursday.”

Earlier this month the US government partially shut down operations for 16 days, putting hundreds of thousands of federal employees on leave.

The counter-espionage legislation passed in March was part of a broad and aggressive move initiated by Congressman Frank Wolf, Republican chairman of the House of Representatives subcommittee that has jurisdiction over NASA’s budget.

Mr Wolf later called NASA’s reading of the legislation “inaccurate” and sought to clarify the original intent of the law.

“The congressional provision – which has been in place since early 2011 – primarily restricts bilateral, not multilateral, meetings and activities with the Communist Chinese government or Chinese-owned companies,” Mr Wolf wrote in an 8 October letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

“It places no restrictions on activities involving individual Chinese nationals unless those nationals are acting as official representatives of the Chinese government,” he wrote.

Source: BBC News – “Nasa reverses conference’s ban on Chinese scientists”

About Pundit Planet



2 thoughts on “NASA reverses conference’s ban on Chinese scientists

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


China News Stories

China News Stories is not affiliated in any way with any publication in China or anywhere else.

Enter your email address to receive an email each time an article is published, or join our RSS feed. 100% FREE.

Follow us on Twitter

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Want to write for China News Stories?

Read “Contributor Guidelines” above to join our team of 76 contributors. Write news or opinion about issues in China, or post photos and video. Promote your own site.

Recent Posts

China News Stories Have Been Featured In:

%d bloggers like this: