BBC, Nature, MIT Tech Review

It’s been an eventful month for science governance in relation to China. I feel privileged to be able to inform and discuss with various parties on these issues and contribute to promoting accountable international collaborations

Here are the media highlights

25 Feb 2022- BBC World Service Science in Action on the US’ ending its China initiative: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3ct1l52 (Starting from 12:30 to 16:00) My key points were that we need to take constructive rather than punitive approach to international collaboration and should encourage context-informed views. We also need to develop a ‘stomach’ for diversity, and recognise that mutual trust is founded on mutual knowledge.

25 Feb 2022 – Nature – https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00512-w. I expressed concerns of China’s proposed protection plan for the CRISPR babies. If anyone considers that a few elite individuals can determine what’s appropriate for the children and their family, then they are making the same horrible mistake as JK He. Let’s not forget that JK He also consulted a small circle of international elites. An open and inclusive deliberation is needed. The research centre I lead is to organise an international meeting on this issue soon. I intend this meeting to be the beginning rather than the end of a continuous conversation.

Finally, on 9 Feb 2022 – MIT Technology Review published Jane Qiu’s extensive investigation on Shi Zhengli and the lab leak theory https://www.technologyreview.com/2022/02/09/1044985/shi-zhengli-covid-lab-leak-wuhan/ As I commented in the article, what made the situation worse was that Chinese institutions had neither the vocabulary nor the grammar of the Western press to deal with a publicity crisis. Blocking information and silencing individuals do not solve any problem.

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