David Curtis says he resigned as editor-in-chief of the Annals of Human Genetics after it – and other journals – declined to publish an article he and his colleagues wrote that urged academic journals to take a stance on human rights violations in China, the Guardian reports.
Curtis, a University College London professor, tells the Guardian that he found the allegations of abuses in Xinjiang, China, against Uyghurs untenable, especially reports of mass DNA collection. He adds that those allegations should be particularly troubling for the field of genetics. "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," Curtis tells the Guardian.
As the Guardian reports, Curtis also began rejecting article submissions from researchers in China, which Wiley says violated its policy against discrimination on national origin.
Other publishers to which the article was submitted tell the Guardian that a boycott would be counterproductive. "Our decision was not in deference to China and we do not believe that a blanket ban on publishing science from China or any other country would be helpful," a BMJ spokesperson tells it.