Last week Felix published an article citing a number of reports that suggested that Imperial was both a benificiary of sponsorship by institutions linked to the Chinese Army People’s Liberation Army, had welcomed academics and students from instituions described as ‘defence research institutions’ and carried out research that was used by the PLA for defence purposes. Having contacted the College, a spokesperson for Imperial College London said: “These claims [by Civitas] completely mischaracterise the true nature of our sponsorship arrangements.
“In the limited instances where we receive sponsorship from Chinese companies, this is for fundamental scientific research. For example, our work [as referenced by Civitas] to develop lightweight strong glass has a wide range of potential scientific and commercial applications in many sectors worldwide. We do not conduct any classified research.
“Imperial conducts its own due diligence prior to any sponsorship arrangement. We also work closely with the Export Controls Joint Unit and other relevant UK government agencies. All relationships with third parties are subject to prior and continued review.
“Our research outputs, which are in the public domain and routinely published in leading international journals, are good for science, innovation and the UK’s global influence. Science is a global endeavour, and we are proud to work with our peers in academia and industry all over the world”
While these claims address some of the allegations made in the article last week they do not address the concerns about close relations between the Chinese defence industry and Imperial.
In other news, an Oxford nuclear scientist has been revealed as a Czech spy that passed documents on Britain’s nuclear capacity to communist handlers during the Cold War. It was also revealed that she spied on her husband another Oxford academic who worked with her at the prestigious Clarendon Laboratory.
This was only revealed after the declassification of secret Czech intelligence records last week. When confronted, Stone claimed that she had been forced to pass information back to Czechoslovakia in order to protect her family who remained behind the Iron curtain.