Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Russian Science is Boycotted

You know it is bad when the West politicizes science more than the Communists did. That is where we are today.

Jerry Coyne reports:

Anna told me she got an email from one of her collaborators, who was reviewing for a journal a paper written by Russian scientists. (“Reviewing,” as you probably know, is when anonymous scientists determines whether a submitted manuscript in their field merits publication in the journal. Here’s the email that Anna’s collaborator got from the journal named below.
Thank you for reviewing this manuscript. I have to inform you that the editors of the Journal of Molecular Structure made a decision to ban the manuscripts submitted from Russian institutions. You must know that it is a ban on Russian institutions and not a judgment on scientists. Therefore I cannot accept the manuscript.
Therefore, the reviewer had to send the Russian authors this rejection letter:
I regret to inform you that your manuscript cannot be considered for publication in the Journal of Molecular Structure. The editors of this journal, in the full assumption of their responsibilities as scientists and academics, decided not to consider any manuscript authored by scientists working at Russian Federation institutions as a result of the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation. Such invasion violates international law, jeopardizes world peace as well as the human rights of innocent citizens, and does not conform to the civilizational ideals of the 21st century. This decision will be in force until international legality is restored, and is extended to the institutions of the Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia.
The Russia chemist has nothing to do with the Ukraine war. Banning a chemistry paper will not help the Ukrainians.

The International Congress of Mathematicians meets every four years, and was going to meet in St. Petersburg this summer, with the generous sponsorship of Russia. Now the meeting has been boycotted and canceled, leaving the local sponsors in debt for years to come.

A more sensible journal announced:

As of the time of writing, no government sanctions are in place which impact the handling of papers that include Russian authors, and we ask editors to follow usual practice on “Fair Play”: “The editor should evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors.”

This is an evolving crisis and we will keep you updated on any developments that may impact your work. We stand by our belief that restrictions on publishing are inappropriate, and any exceptions should be narrowly crafted.

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