From The Guardian:
The editor of a long-established academic journal has said he resigned after his publisher vetoed a call to boycott Chinese science in protest at Beijing’s treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.
Prof David Curtis, from University College London’s Genetics Institute, says his resignation as editor-in-chief of the Annals of Human Genetics is an issue of freedom of speech in the face of the science community’s increasing dependence on China.
The Annals was one of five prestigious academic journals, including the Lancet, the BMJ and the Journal of the American Medical Association (Jama), that refused to publish an article suggesting that academic journals should take a stance against China’s human rights violations in Xinjiang.
The journals involved have defended rejecting the piece and claimed that a boycott against China would be unfair and counterproductive. They have also denied being unduly deferential to China. But both the Annals publisher, Wiley, and the Lancet did suggest that publication of the letter could pose difficulties for their respective offices in China, the authors claim.
. . . .
Curtis co-authored the article but said he was prevented from publishing it in his own magazine. He handed in his notice last September in protest and then stood down with immediate effect after rejecting submissions from Chinese academics. Only now has he revealed his reasons for quitting.
. . . .
Curtis said: “I resigned because publication of the article was blocked by senior managers at Wiley who should have no say in the content of a scientific journal. I was told that Wiley has got an office in Beijing, the implication being that publication would make it difficult.”
He added: “The publisher has no business telling the editor what they can and can’t publish because of strong interests in China.”
Curtis said the alleged abuses against Uyghur families, including the mass collections of DNA samples without consent, was especially troubling in the field of genetics and for a magazine that was founded in 1925 as the Annals of Eugenics.
He accepted that his position became untenable when he began rejecting submissions from Chinese authors. He told them: “In view of the complicity of the Chinese medical and scientific establishment in human rights abuses against the Uyghurs I am not considering any submissions from China.”
Link to the rest at The Guardian and thanks to C. for the tip.
PG notes that, in traditional publishing of nearly any type, you’re independent until you’re not.
Here’s a copy of the article that triggered Wiley.
UPDATE: If you don’t see the article embedded below, click here to go to the original.the-article-academic-journals-refused-to-print-china-is-it-time-to-consider-a-boycott-1