Biophysical Society Bulletin | April 2022
maintain a high priority focus on countering harmful activity by the Chinese government. The DOJ’s National Security Division announced that it is changing its strategy on academic research security cas- es, exerting more oversight of investigations and criminal prosecutions and considering civil or administrative penalties for cases that lack clear national or economic security impli- cations. The changes come following a review of the China Initiative begun late last year and respond to concerns that prosecutions of university scientists have created a “chilling atmosphere” that is damaging the US research system. The review also found the exclusive focus on China had fueled a “harmful perception that the department applies a lower standard to investigate and prosecute criminal conduct relat- ed to that country or that we in some way view people with racial, ethnic, or familial ties to China differently.”
DOJ will now pursue a broader framework that addresses threats presented by a range of countries, though the depart- ment continues to regard the Chinese government as posing unique challenges beyond those presented by other rivals such as Russia or Iran. For individuals suspected of inappropriate conduct, the National Security Division will assess “the evidence of intent and materiality, as well as the nexus to our national or eco- nomic security.” Such considerations will inform decisions on “whether criminal prosecution is warranted or whether civil or administrative remedies are more appropriate.” The state- ment from DOJ also highlighted the recent disclosure policy guidance from the White House that encourages science agencies to consider researchers’ forthrightness in coming into compliance with disclosure policy when weighing potential punitive actions.
Call for BPS Ambassadors Program Are you an advocate for biophysics education and knowledge sharing? Have you considered applying for the BPS Ambassador Program to put those skills into action? The BPS Ambassador Program was developed to help make biophysics a more dynamic, inclusive, and interdisciplinary community to better serve the needs of our international membership. Currently, BPS works with twelve Ambassadors representing Argentina, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Turkey, and United Kingdom. The Ambassador Program creates a global network of BPS members that serve as local Society resources in their home countries or regions to promote the field and foster conversations around biophysics. As a BPS Ambassador, you will play a key role in connecting the Society and its membership with relevant local content,
Empowering Biophysics Globally
serve as BPS point-of-contact, and help foster discussions on issues of importance to science around the globe. Through this program, the Society hopes to grow the biophysics network by educating and inspiring others to pursue careers in biophysics and to further develop its advocacy efforts around the world. For the next class of Ambassadors (2023–2026), we are only accepting applications from outside of Argentina, Australia, Hong Kong, Kenya, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, and Turkey. An ideal country Ambassador is a mid-career to senior scientist, actively engaged in biophysics research and committed to remaining in the field for the duration of the Ambassadorship, an active member of the Society in good standing, able to attend the Annual Meeting at the start of their term, works proficiency in English, and has a demonstrated ability to contribute to organizations and scientific societies outside of their normal job duties. To learn more about the program, Ambassador eligibility, and benefits, please visit www.biophysics.org/outreach/ambassador-program. Applications will be accepted through June 30, 2022.
Numbers By the
BPS membership comprises of 30% of members outside of the U.S. spanning across 54 countries.
T H E N E W S L E T T E R O F T H E B I O P H Y S I C A L S O C I E T Y
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