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The Importance of Disclosure

February 04, 2020

To: The Caltech Community
From: Thomas F. Rosenbaum, President and David A. Tirrell, Provost
Date: February 4, 2020
Re: The Importance of Disclosure

Prominent news reports of the arrest of Charles Lieber, Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard, have been alarming. Lieber is accused of lying to federal authorities about payments he received from China under the Thousand Talents Program. At Caltech, faculty members, staff, and postdoctoral scholars are required to disclose such associations under our conflict-of-interest and conflict-of-commitment policies. We take these disclosures seriously because they are critical to ensuring the integrity of the scientific process.  

Upright behavior is important in and of itself. It is also receiving intense scrutiny given the present-day tensions with China. Please review your own conflict of interest disclosure at the access.caltech website to ensure that it is up to date, complete, and consistent with Caltech's Conflict of Interest Policy. If you are in doubt about the need to disclose a particular activity or relationship, we urge you to consult with your division chair or supervisor and to err on the side of disclosure.

Caltech thrives on the open exchange of ideas with foreign colleagues. The infusion of talent from abroad has bolstered science, technology, and economic well-being across America. We must continue to speak forcefully to protect the free movement of people and ideas. We must also insist on the highest standards of ethical behavior on the part of all members of the Caltech community.