China's rise is reshaping global science

September 4, 2020 2:30 - 4:00

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The output of Chinese scientific high impact papers has been rising exponentially. The factors driving this development include large scale investments in basic and strategic science, a large scale reform of Chinese research organisation and scientific governance, international collaboration and the improvement and expansion of China's scientific human capital base.

This development has had a profound impact on relations in the global science system. China is increasingly seen as a crucial partner in addressing scientific challenges, both at the level of large scientific mega-projects but perhaps especially in the context of smaller scale, bottom up scientific projects in which Chinese, US and European scholars often find each other. The Chinese government is actively encouraging collaboration.

Both the US and EU governments need to find the most productive approach to engaging with this emerging scientific power in the aim of mutual benefit in addition to the wider benefit of the world as a whole. China is no longer solely the source of the human capital that has fuelled part of the development of the US and EU research systems. Increasingly overseas Chinese scientists and to a lesser extent foreign scholars are finding work in the Chinese system. We present new evidence of the dimensions of these flows as well as the impact that overseas and returned scientists have on both the Chinese, the US and European research systems.

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