censorship of research
Recently, two articles by teams from the University of Bergen were accepted by prominent US journals and then turned down because, the publishers said, “we cannot publish your paper because the United States government restricts publishers from publishing papers that have an affiliation with the government of Iran.”. Some of the authors were Iranian citizens, you see, although they work or had worked as researchers here in Bergen. (Sorry, I can’t find any English language sources for this – perhaps being censored…)
Isn’t that astounding, though? The results results are presumably important, since they were accepted in an internationally reknowned, peer reviewed journal. They have nothing to do with bombs or weapons of mass destruction or politics – this is geology and oil and such. And yet the US government refuses to allow US journals to publish this, just because some of the authors – scholars, not politicians – have Iranian passports? How peculiar that the country that (in theory) has the strongest tradition of freedom of speech and democracy stifles research and communication like this.
And the big question: did YOU know about this? Did you know that research by Iranians is being censored? I didn’t.
I got to sit next to rektor at dinner last night, which was very interesting – and when I asked what rektors do all day he told me about this as an example of what he’s been doing this week. He’s been talking to American and Norwegian ambassadors and scientists and to the National Science Foundation and to the media and to politicians about this. A wise rektor can have considerable power to raise awareness and actually influence the world.
Afterwards we went to Garage and had a couple of beers with the student representatives. Yes, really.