As the echoes of the tanks on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square begin to fade, scientists from the United. States whose research requires access to Chinese sites--and their Chinese counterparts working or studying in the U.S.—are wondering whether they should permanently write off their projects as casualties of the violence.

Universities, private companies, national agencies, and individual scientists have spent years overcoming xenophobia, language barriers, and other obstacles to ] But one thing is clear: For now at least, they must put their plans for joint research on hold while the governments of the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) plan their next steps in the wake of the squelched Chinese student uprising and subsequent executions.

While the crackdown on Chinese citizens threatens the future of many corporate research collaborations, scientists at most U.S. firms involved are proceeding as best they can. At New York-based Grumman Corp., for instance, although...

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