Harvard’s Chemistry Chair Charged on Alleged Undisclosed Ties to China
Charles Lieber allegedly lied to Defense Department, National Institutes of Health about Chinese government funding
Charles Lieber attended an award ceremony in Jerusalem in 2012. Photo: MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/GettyImages
By Aruna Viswanatha and
Updated Jan. 28, 2020 11:34 am ET
The chair of Harvard University’s chemistry department was charged in a criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday on allegations that he did not disclose Chinese government funding he received, in an escalation of U.S. efforts to counter what officials describe as Beijing’s aggressive recruitment at U.S. universities.
The professor, Charles Lieber, allegedly lied to the Defense Department and the National Institutes of Health about his participation in China’s Thousand Talents Plan, the complaint said.
U.S. authorities have raised alarms in particular about the so-called talent programs run by the Chinese government, which officials say create conflicts of interest and offer incentives to bring intellectual property back to China.
Prosecutors have brought a series of cases in recent months alleging that researchers at U.S. universities and labs didn’t disclose funding they were receiving from such programs, or tried to steal information to take to China.
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