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back to article Space boffins boycott Kepler 'scope talks after US bans Chinese guests

The global scientific community is up in arms after Chinese researchers were banned from an upcoming NASA conference on the Kepler space telescope for reasons of national security. The key meeting is set to be held at the space agency’s Ames research Center in California next month, but thanks to a US law signed by US President …

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Stop

Just move it.

There a probably a good number of Chinese universities willing to host the conference...

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Re: Just move it.

Ahh but you cant have it in China, because the same law also states that US citizens whose research is funded by the US government are not allowed to present said work in China. A large number of US researchers couldnt attend this years IAC in Beijing for this very reason.

The only way to have it would be to have it somewhere outside of the US AND China...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just move it.

Rhyl.

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Re: Just move it.

Canada's a nice country for such things...

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FAIL

Re: Just move it.

Sorry but Canada has no interest in science with its current government - it just gets in the way of facts.

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Re: Just move it.

The Tories don't control all provinces. Many would be happy to have such a conference. In fact, the Alberta Tories differ quite a bit from the federal Tories. I'm positive that a conference like this would receive strongly positive support here in Edmonton.

Canadian politics is complicated. It's best not to think of Harper's goons as the Conservative party - as the actual provincial versions are quite a bit less batshit bananas - but more as "the Reform party" (from whence their leadership derive) or "that one step away from the precipice of the Wild Rose Party" (to where all the more radical whackjobs that Harper won't tolerate flee.)

Fear not the Tories. The SCoC will keep them in line. Fear the Wild Rose Party; if those fuckers get hold of the Tar Sands they can do damage on a planetary scale. (For all the bitching about the tar sands that greens like to do it could be far - far - worse. Personally, I'd prefer that they actually allow Bruce Power to install some fission generation capacity, but that's another rant altogether...)

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This boycott just goes to prove communism has infiltrated the scientific community.

NASA should stick to it's guns, the last thing we need is reds getting hold of space technology. Did we not learn any of the lessons of WW2? It's just like that famous saying that basically says if you don't learn to repeat yourself, you will be doomed because history will come back to haunt you.

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Flame

I'd be more worried about the Red Republicans getting hold of space technology than the Red Chinese. Y'all know what I mean.

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Happy

@Nomnomnom

Lack of sense of humour alert on your downvotes!

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Re: @Nomnomnom

No, he really is from the 50's!!!

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Happy

Re: @Nomnomnom

"Lack of sense of humour alert on your downvotes!"

Think you're right.

He's playing the frothing-at-the-mouth Red baiting American.

And doing it rather well.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm definitely more scared of America than I am China...

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>the last thing we need is reds getting hold of space technology.

The Rooskies will never get into space so long as our Germans are smarter than their Germans!

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Anonymous Coward

definitely more scared of America than I am China...

Yup, Chinese food doesn't make you an obese redneck couch potato either

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Anonymous Coward

Thumbs down because this is not communism and no where near it. This is something much different and possibly much worse. you can figure it out if you thing about it, though. *cough* McCarthy *cough*

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Anonymous Coward

"The only way to have it...

...would be to have it somewhere outside of the US AND China..."

Syria? Iraq? Afghanistan? Iran? Egypt?

No? Anyone for tennis, instead, then?

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Trollface

Re: "The only way to have it...

Taiwan?

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It's a poorly written law if there isn't an exception process.

Ah, that would be a merkin law then

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The cynical amongst us might suggest that all modern laws are poorly written, since we wrote all the important ones a long time ago, such as the ones about killing people.

These cynics might go on to suggest that those making laws are therefore pretty much redundant and represent either a drain on society, or a threat, as they are prone to passing laws that draw more power to themselves at the expense of basic freedoms and civil liberties.

Cynics, eh?

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The freedom to read marxist screeds, is that really freedom? Is it?

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Yes, that is really freedom. You might want to look up the word in a dictionary.

I'm not suggesting you should become a Marxist --I have no need for Marxists-- but freedom means that others have to the right to disagree or to read the stuff so as to form a reasoned opinion or even to read it because it makes them laugh. Their right, their choice, their time. None of your business.

And, once we're done frothing at the mouth, just how likely do you think it is that papers about astronomical pictures will be 'Marxist screed' anyway?

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"Yes, that is really freedom. You might want to look up the word in a dictionary."

"Freedom is being free from the need to feel free"

Funkadelic - 'Free your mind and your ass will follow'

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You might want to look up the word in a dictionary.

And while you're there check out "sarcasm" and "satire"....?

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Anonymous Coward

" Free your mind and your ass will follow "

...provided you carry a carrot, that is.

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Seems a bit OTT. If you're that worried, USA, why not let the Chinese boffins attend and accompany them with security? Humiliating, but at least the conference could go ahead.

*Sigh* But I expect Obama will ignore this post, just as he does all my others...

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> why not let the Chinese boffins attend

Because then you would have to let the Germans, and the Hungarians, and the Indians and the rest - and what sort of state would US science be in if you let foreigners in?

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...they might all start using only metric instead of imperial and metric measures when calculating space flights and actually be able to land probes on other planets instead of trying to penetrate their surface...

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They forgot Sun-tzu's words of wisdom

"Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."

http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/36994.html

Or maybe the subtlety of such a notion was beyond them.

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Re: They forgot Sun-tzu's words of wisdom

Yeah sounds REAL wise doesn't it....until you look up this Sun Ztu fellow on google. lo and behold, from wikipedia:

"Sun Tzu or Sunzi was a Chinese military general"

You couldn't make it up. He clearly wrote that little quotation to trick people like you into giving his scientists access to NASA secrets.

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Re: They forgot Sun-tzu's words of wisdom

OK, I'm reading copious amounts of sarcasm and irony into each of NomNomNom's posts here, but it appears from the downvotes that someone may be taking them at face value. Do they still promote critical reading in schools these days?

Wait, scratch that, if they did still promote critical thought patterns in schools then the current crop of sound-bite politicians would be screwed. I guess I've just answered my own question :'(

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Pint

Re: They forgot Sun-tzu's words of wisdom

> He clearly wrote that little quotation to trick people like you into giving his scientists access to NASA secrets.

Bravo, sir!

Made me laugh anyway, even if a bunch of other folk seem to be taking you a little more seriously than they perhaps should..

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Anonymous Coward

"Do they still promote critical reading in schools these days?"

..or indeed any reading at all?

The people in question certainly did *not* read what NomNomNom wrote -- the phrase "that famous saying that basically says if you don't learn to repeat yourself, you will be doomed" is a right give-away...

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Meh

So, I suppose that...

...teleconferencing them into the event is out the window too, then?

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FAIL

The last time a country introduced this sort of discrimination...

...of scientists, it lost a major war. WWII, to be exact. You see, most of the really good scientists left the county and started working for its opponents... the few that remained couldn't get anything serious done because they didn't have enough competent colleagues any longer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The last time a country introduced this sort of discrimination...

Add to that ITAR and its god awful annoyances, and basically no one really wants to play with the Americans anymore. Most projects in Europe work very hard to avoid using any parts coming from the US so they dont have to deal with ITAR or the american government and its stupidity.

The only projects that are still working with the Americans are legacy projects or those that are being funded out of the US. But everyone still hates dealing with the US government bollocks...

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Re: The last time a country introduced this sort of discrimination...

It's not very different from how Nasa treated Europeans when we were building Hubble,

At least they had the excuse that Hubble was basically a demilitarized spy satellite and there was a cold war on.

I know a lot of bio types have abandoned having conferences in the US because of the difficulty of getting visas for non-blonde people and the weirder outpourings of the various anti-science, anti-stem cell, anti-evolution politicians.

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A slightly tepid war

Ah, a scientific reprise of the worst days of the Cold War, how quaint.

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Re: A slightly tepid war

...Ah, a scientific reprise of the worst days of the Cold War, how quaint...

Thanks. We are trying our best to get back to the good old days when everyone knew that God was on our side, that the budget was never in any doubt, and that we had a job for life...

Signed,

the US military, intelligence and industrial complex...

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Thumb Down

A little rich, considering all the NSA leaks...

Maybe the U.S. government is afraid the Chinese will find out how REAL espionage and subterfuge is conducted??

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Coat

Does anyone think of "Wolfe" and think

"Alcatraz." ?

Mine's the dark blue heavy overcoat to keep the chill out and the sharpened piece of flat iron from the machine shop in the right pocket. .

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Meh

Yet another 100% Obamawerks production

How come Israel is never on the receiving end of such shenanigans? Don't bother answering.

And also:

Jiang was accused of espionage by Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA) – the same lawmaker who helped to put the new rules on China and its nationals on the books – after he had been tipped off by a NASA whistleblower.

I guess that's one of the few whistleblowers the O'bomba doesn't go after with the full might of the NSA and the modern terrorist-hunting lawfare arsenal.

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Alien

Obviously the US should keep the Chinese out

The US has a clear interest in keeping knowledge of newly discovered planets from the Chinese.

If the Chinese find out about them, they'll get there first!

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Open Kepler conference?

So, why don't they just have an Open Kepler Conference? NASA bureaucrats can sit around in an empty room while the scientists go and have a conference. (Hopefully, the NASA scientists -- as opposed to the bureaucrats -- can leave the conference "on their free time" and go to the real conference too.) As was pointed out by the delegation from Yale (who is boycotting), the excuse for kicking the Chinese delegates is "national security", but the information to be presented at the conference is ALREADY PUBLIC.

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Re: Open Kepler conference?

" the excuse for kicking the Chinese delegates is "national security", but the information to be presented at the conference is ALREADY PUBLIC."

Not for nothing, but have you been to a conference before? Most of the useful information is exchanged over drinks each night. It'd be kinda naive to think that a country wouldn't at least consider sending "spies" to liquor up some scientists that are working on other projects than what they're presenting.

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Trollface

Re: Open Kepler conference?

Oi now, dont be trying to bring your dirty "common sense" into this argument. That guff has absolutely no place in government or bureaucratic thinking...

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Re: Open Kepler conference?

"This Chinese Liquor is eggsellent, Mr Delegate. You were saying?"

"Thank you, Professor Brainbox, I can have you meet ladies eager to make knowledge of scientist of yours caliber later on. But pray tell, what ARE you working on currently EXACTLY?"

[Totally deadening infodump on blue-sky research omitted due to overabundance of integral signs]

Yes, sounds like a plan.

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