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China increasingly challenges American dominance of science [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2018-6-4 11:39:40 |Display all floors

(The Washington Post) Like many ambitious young scientists, José Pastor-Pareja came to the United States to supercharge his career. At Yale University, he worked in cutting-edge laboratories, collaborated with experts in his field and published in prestigious journals.

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José Pastor-Pareja in his lab in Beijing. (Yan Cong/For The Washington Post)

But the allure of America soon began to wear off. The Spanish geneticist struggled to renew his visa and was even detained for two hours of questioning at a New York City airport after he returned from a trip abroad. In 2012, he made the surprising decision to leave his Ivy League research position and move to China.


“It is an opportunity not many take,” Pastor-Pareja said. But the perks were hard to resist — a lucrative signing bonus, guaranteed research funding, ample tech staff and the chance to build a genetics research center from scratch.


After decades of American dominance, Chinese science is ascendant, and it is luring scientists like Pastor-Pareja away from the United States. Even more China-born scientists are returning from abroad to a land of new scientific opportunity.


The United States spends half a trillion dollars a year on scientific research — more than any other nation on Earth — but China has pulled into second place, with the European Union third and Japan a distant fourth.


China is on track to surpass the United States by the end of this year, according to the National Science Board. In 2016, annual scientific publications from China outnumbered those from the United States for the first time.


“There seems to be a sea change in how people are talking about Chinese science,” said Alanna Krolikowski, a Chinese science expert at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Foreign observers, many of whom were once condescending, now “are rather in awe at what the Chinese policies have accomplished.”


The scientific advances are a small piece of China’s larger ambitions. President Xi Jinping aims to supplant the United States as the world’s economic superpower within three decades. In October, Xi vowed to produce “a world-class army by 2050.”


Meanwhile, China is spending more on infrastructure than the United States or Europe, and the middle class has ballooned — making relocation more attractive.


“More and more people keep coming, that’s for sure,” Pastor-Pareja said. “Right now, China is the best place in the world to start your own laboratory.”

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Post time 2018-6-4 11:40:51 |Display all floors

Pastor-Pareja, the geneticist who gave up Yale for Beijing, specializes in studies of cell biology using fruit flies — Drosophila melanogaster.


The field is struggling in the United States, Pastor-Pareja said, as funding has declined. In China, there are now 30 drosophila laboratories in Beijing, he said — more than in either Boston or San Francisco — and scientists have begun meeting every two months to share their latest work.


“At this rate, China may soon eclipse the U.S.,” Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) warned at a January congressional hearing on the state of American science, “and we will lose the competitive advantage that has made us the most powerful economy in the world.”



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Post time 2018-6-5 09:54:42 |Display all floors
ceciliazhang Post time: 2018-6-4 11:40
Pastor-Pareja, the geneticist who gave up Yale for Beijing, specializes in studies of cell biology u ...


Well, China's home-grown scientists have to study abroad to acquire cutting-edge knowledge, so why not invite Western scientists to spend some time in China and rub off their knowledge? IT's a cheap way for CHina to catch up to the West.

But is it a sustainable way? WIll the CHinese eventually pioneer scientific paths to a new future?

ALl the green cards you are parsimoniously handing out won't change the fact that you depend on the world to supply what you need. And for a Westerner to live here in a country with such rigid censorship is making a serious sacrifice.

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Post time 2018-6-9 16:17:38 |Display all floors
seneca Post time: 2018-6-5 09:54
Well, China's home-grown scientists have to study abroad to acquire cutting-edge knowledge, so wh ...

Censorship isn't too rigid if your endless kneejerk anti-china rants never fail to see the light of day.  For someone who whines bitterly about China but refuses to leave the country, you are one self-sacrificing martyr.

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Post time 2018-6-9 17:36:46 |Display all floors
msrong Post time: 2018-6-9 16:17
Censorship isn't too rigid if your endless kneejerk anti-china rants never fail to see the light o ...



Bah, Mrs Always Wrong: Why don't you go by your CHINESE name? You are a very unpatriotic person for flaunting your foreign moniker, "Mrs Always Wrong".

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Post time 2018-6-11 15:02:33 |Display all floors
seneca Post time: 2018-6-9 17:36
Bah, Mrs Always Wrong: Why don't you go by your CHINESE name? You are a very unpatriotic person  ...

Silly fool....  you wouldn't be able to read anything in Chinese.

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Post time 2018-6-11 16:42:31 |Display all floors
msrong Post time: 2018-6-11 15:02
Silly fool....  you wouldn't be able to read anything in Chinese.

Anyone can read a Chinese name in Roman letters, Deerie. And don't brag about knowing Chinese; I speak and read more languages than you and your whole family combined. But you are entitled to being known as "Mrs ALways Wrong". You are our Honorary Guest with this title!

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