The name of the professor at a Swiss university who severed her relationship with a PhD student for his Twitter posts is...

I am genuinely annoyed at the extent of self-serving self-censorship in China research.

For more than a decade, people told me about all of the ways that they self-censor, both big and small, in order to maintain their China visa access or their collaborative relationships at PRC universities.

Then I wrote something about this topic and everyone suddenly claimed that they would never self-censor, and even if they did, it was only for the best, purest, and most altruistic reasons. Trust them!

I tend to think that such behavior has always been inappropriate. It is however particularly inappropriate today, when the Chinese Communist Party has shown its true face by holding millions of Uyghurs and others in concentration camps.

As academics, when a dictatorship is enacting a genocide, we need to do better than cravenly bowing to that dictatorship’s wishes.

Many of you may have read the recent article about a graduate student at a Swiss university who was expelled for critical posts about the Chinese Communist Party on Twitter. If you have not yet read the article, please read it at the link below.

A tweet cost him his doctorate: the extent of China’s influence on Swiss universities

In this story, the student involved remains unnamed. I am fine with that. However, the professor involved in the self-censorship, censorship, and punishment of a student for free speech also remained unnamed.

We need to stop granting a protective veil of anonymity to people who engage in this type of self-censorship.

I can reveal that the professor involved in this affair is Dr. Daria Berg.

Berg is a chair professor, and as such should be taking a leading role in pushing back against self-censorship. She should be providing encouragement and support to students who want to speak freely, openly, and indeed critically about the challenges presented to us by the nature of the PRC government today.

I am disappointed that she has not lived up to these standards.