Tag Archives: reforms

China backs science but will it be enough?

Whether one listens to the declaration of the Premier Wen or looks at the funds set aside (USD 36 billion or a 12% increase) one can hardly doubt the resolve of the Chinese government to regain its place in the top league of scientific nations.

Will it be enough? A recentĀ Nature article highlights some of the challenges that need to be overcome for China to excel in scientific and technological output. Among them, one finds issues of quality (e.g., few high-impact papers published and few genuine innovations) driven in part by a misallocation of funding (e.g., less than 5% of R&D expenditures goes to fundamental research and too much goes to government-led initiatives) and lack of transparency in funding decisions.

No surprisingly, there are many calls to reform theĀ funding systems and provide more support for basic research. Whether the institutional framework can undergo such a change is altogether another question.