Oct 2019 – World Conference on Scientific Literacy

Delighted to give a presentation at the World Conference on Scientific Literacy in Beijing this October at the invitation of China’s Research Institute for Science Popularisation.

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Hosting these international events may be the best way to speed up the creation of a more transparent and engaging research culture in China. At the end of the conference, Xinhua News Press interviewed me on China’s role in global science. I was a bit shocked when the journalist asked if current Western (mis)perception of China’s science was due to a Western ignorance of Chinese scientific capacity and what China can achieve. I think few would still doubt that China is a major player in global science nowadays. But much of the ambivalence or rather skepticism comes from a lack of knowledge on how things get done in China, and how regulatory intentions are actually translated into practice. So I told the reporter that the problem was that China has always equated scientific development with hard power and never recognised it as a form of soft power as well.

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