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US science news biased against people with names of non-British origin

A news stand in the New York subway in Manhattan

MB Photo/Alamy

News coverage in the US of scientific work is biased against researchers whose names aren’t of British origin.

Hao Peng at the University of Michigan and his colleagues analysed more than 230,000 news stories from 288 US outlets, which reported on around 100,000 different research papers across all scientific fields.

The team looked at whether the first authors of papers were mentioned in news coverage. Very often, these are junior researchers who have contributed most significantly to the work. Peng and his colleagues found that first authors who …