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.


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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