LONDON--Gerald Draper is a worried man. Head of the Childhood Cancer Research Group at Oxford University, he often speaks at meetings of parents who live near nuclear installations, helping them understand why the risk of radiation-induced leukemia in their children is small.

It is a daunting task, because the question of whether leukemia rates rise around nuclear power plants is one of the most contentious scientific issues in Britain. But now, the British government has made Draper’s job even more difficult. It is trying to make him sign a contract that could prevent him from publishing his work. If his research showed even small clusters of leukemia, would the government muzzle him, Draper wonders? And if so, what parent would ever believe that he is telling the truth about nuclear power? The new research contracts, say Draper and scores of other...

New Rules Seen As Serious Threats To Academic Freedom

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