China is still rising

In China the amount of science they are doing is phenomenal and it’s getting better and better all the time. But there’s a negative stereotype to Chinese students and researchers: overworking, can’t think for themselves, driven only by publications and impact…

My former boss, Tony Cheetham, has recently written a quite thoughtful article about science in China, which might help to explain the reasons behind some of those stereotypes. He’s been involved in Chinese science at a high level for more than a decade, so he’s in quite a unique position to comment on it. The article can be found here.

The Chinese scientists I’ve worked with are some of the most enthusiastic, talented people I know. Yes, if they’re trying to get jobs back in China they have to bow to the same pressures as their competitors, but looking beyond that I have seen genuine desire to do good science. If their attitudes, and the sheer number of scientists produced by China, and the increasingly high-level output of Chinese institutions, are anything to go by, it might be time for Western science to think about upping its game…

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