Fellowship, Ministry Lecture, iGEM

Phew What an October! Three updates:

  • Visiting Fellowship at Beijing University of Technology
My October started in Beijing, where I was awarded a competitive ‘Foreign Expert Visiting Fellowship’  by Beijing University of Technology. This fellowship provided financial and administrative support for me to establish exchange with staff and students on the topic of ‘What’s the Role of Critical Social Research in China’s Risk Governance?’
Among other things, I had a week-long discussions on what it means to ‘think critically’ about science with Chinese and other Asian and Afrian PG students. It was really informative. I never thought 4-hour sessions can feel this short!
  • Invited Lecture at China’s Ministry of Science and Technology
Later in October, I gave a lecture to staff at China’s Ministry of Science and Technology at the invitation of CASTED, the Ministry’s research arm. The lecture, titled ’The Comopolitanization of Science and the Search for a “Chinese Voice”’, drew on findings from my ESRC project. 
I was delighted that three of CASTED’s Directors came to my talk!  My host told me that this was rare and this was perhaps one of the most high profile staff lectures they had – audience-wise, not speaker-wise. =)
We had a candid discussion on where China’s science governance was struggling, and what practical solutions may be. I was very much encouraged by the fact that all three Directors commended on the initiatives promoted by my project, especially the point on the public engagement capacity building. One of the Directors later emailed me and said he agreed that such training was a matter of ‘urgency’.
  • Advising the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition
October ended with the amazing Giant Jamboree in Boston – Yes I’m talking about the  International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition! I’ll be on the Excutive Committtee for Human Practices this coming year with a focus on strengthening and broadening ways ‘Human Practices’ (e.g. societal and ethical engagements) can be integrated into synthetic biology reserach. So if you are an iGEMer, see you again in Boston in 2019!

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