On the 29th, a message “The IEEE ordered the cleanup of Huawei’s reviewers” attracted widespread attention among Chinese netizens. According to the news, IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) has banned Huawei employees as editors and reviewers of its journals. In the case of Huawei’s research funding, it cannot be reviewed by other people.
Immediately after the email was exposed, it caused an uproar in the academic circle. Zhang Haixia, a professor at the School of Information Science and Technology of Peking University, publicly wrote to the IEEE chairman on the 29th that the move far exceeds the bottom line acceptable to academics. “As a member of the IEEE and a member of the journal editorial board, I must show my attitude. I apply to quit The editorial board of the two IEEE journals I am in.” On the same day, Zhang Haixia accepted an exclusive interview with the Global Times on this matter.
The interview was recorded as follows:
Global Times: Can you briefly introduce the areas you are focusing on. What are the reasons for deciding to join the IEEE? Or what qualities of this organization have attracted you?
Zhang Haixia: The area I focus on is the specific field of microelectronics technology, called MEMS, which is a question of how to supply tiny chips more quickly and conveniently. It belongs in the direction of “China Core”.
I have been in the IEEE for a long time, and I have been working for more than 20 years. At that time, I was a graduate student in the field of electronics. All the teachers around me were basically members of the IEEE. They also encouraged students to join the IEEE, because joining the IEEE would give young people a lot of opportunities to participate in academic exchanges.
IEEE is an organization widely recognized in the international electronics related field because it organizes many academic conferences, special publications, and many activities for young people. This is very helpful for the academic growth of young people.
Global Times: What is the mechanism for IEEE review work?
Zhang Haixia: The IEEE Editorial Board often invites well-known and objective experts from the same industry to review the manuscripts submitted. it is completely anonymous.
Global Times: Anonymous, just like the “reading teacher”?
Zhang Haixia: Yes, they are all anonymous. The editor-in-chief of the IEEE is generally the “big cow” in the field. He will find people who have a lot of reputation in this field to form the editorial board. The IEEE editorial board is composed of experts who have done well in the field in the industry. come from all around the world.
The editorial board receives the manuscript and sends it to members of the editorial board in a certain field. For example, I am an expert in the field of microelectronics. The editorial board will send this article to me. I will then look for experts in the field to review. Manuscript. The expert I am looking for must be an expert in the industry. It must be a professional reputation. No matter where he comes from. Whether from South Africa or from India. Or from Haiti. As long as he is an expert in this field, he has certain knowledge in this field.
This is a process of trust. Everyone in academic organizations relies on academic speech. It has nothing to do with others. It has nothing to do with Huawei. It has nothing to do with his nationality, as long as he can do things academically and objectively. If a scholar’s comments make us feel that it is not fair and objective, and there is a strong bias, we will not invite him to review again. This is a very objective process.
Global Times: You said, “This is far beyond the bottom line acceptable to academics.” Are you well thought out? Have you communicated with other academic peers? What is their mainstream attitude?
Zhang Haixia: I deliberately list some “blacklists” for a company. I hate it. This is a serious insult to us as a judge. It is not just us, it is an insult to scientists all over the world, including American counterparts. Why do they (scientists) accept this? This is totally contrary to our principle of being an academic person. It cannot be tolerated. Scientists all over the world cannot bear it.
After I made my statement, I received emails and information from many domestic and foreign scholars and friends. Since I was in class at night, I didn’t have time to look carefully. I only know the voices from Asia, Europe, and the United States. Most of them support me. Individual scholars will ask me if I have thought about it. It is someone who still doesn’t know me. Judging from today’s feedback, so many of my peers are in solidarity. I don’t think I am fighting alone.
Global Times: What procedures are required to quit this organization? Is there a possibility of being rejected?
Zhang Haixia: I need to send an email to the editor in order to apply for withdrawal. They will go to study and decide. I have sent these emails. I am waiting for them to reply. However, one of the editors has already replied. He said that he is also very shocked. Now I am going to investigate. I said that this incident is not groundless. Those emails (referring to the IEEE’s email that no longer allows Huawei employees to participate in the review) are clear.
Global Times: What negative impact will this event have on academic exchanges?
Zhang Haixia: The huge negative impact is the bottom line for challenging the academic world. If the United States really wants to continue to do so, I believe that scientists all over the world will withdraw. Why should I do research? To do research is to be able to get answers through research and solve objective problems, rather than subjective methods. I need to communicate with my peers. I want to be with them because I want more objective evaluation than subjective evaluation.
Global Times: Has this happened before?
Zhang Haixia: I have never seen a similar situation before. I think this is a huge and unacceptable challenge. The scientific issue is a scientific issue. The objective is objective. You cannot use politics to interfere with technology.
Global Times: The IEEE has chosen to retreat under the pressure of the US. As an academic institution, should there be a better way to deal with it? For example, some scholars mentioned replacing the registration place. Is this suggestion realistic?
Zhang Haixia: I am not the chairman of the IEEE. I am not sure if there is a better way. I feel that as an academic organization, if you really open such an email, it will really bring a huge negative to your credibility. influences. It doesn’t matter where the organization is registered. The place of registration does not determine everything. What matters is the maintenance of the core concept of an academic organization.
Global Times: What impact will exit on your personal academic research?
Zhang Haixia: It doesn’t matter. My academic level is not evaluated by a certain organization, so I feel that for me, I don’t think there will be any special loss.
Global Times: Have you had a relationship with Huawei? How do you evaluate the performance of Huawei’s colleagues in IEEE academic exchanges. How would you evaluate the contribution of Chinese in the IEEE?
Zhang Haixia: I have nothing to do with Huawei. I really don’t know the performance of Huawei employees in the IEEE. However, as an important company involved in standard setting, it is very important for Huawei to participate in such academic exchanges. Human welfare. A standard identification must be supported by real products. Everyone thinks that you are good. It is not that you are serving a small group. I don’t think there is anything wrong with Huawei’s participation. It is a problem to exclude Huawei. Huawei services One third of the world’s people, such companies can’t talk, what is the significance of the existence of academic organizations?
As for the Chinese contribution to the IEEE, it is really too big. Moreover, it plays an increasingly important role in it. Many Chinese people participate in various academic conferences. As editors in magazines, there are more and more active Chinese faces. I think the voice of Chinese scholars is getting stronger and stronger. .
Finally, I appeal to academics to be decoupled from politics. Scientists must maintain a rigorous and objective attitude toward scientific issues. Scientists have national boundaries, but science has no borders.