Sino-Norwegian Centre for the Study of Society and Environment (SINORSE)
The PR China is now the world’s largest producer of scientific articles. It is home to scientists whose groundbreaking and sometimes quite controversial findings and methods regularly make world news, and pours a staggering amount of money into funding research and frontier experiments, both domestically and internationally. Moreover, the Chinese political leadership has, with increasing vehemence in recent years, clearly formulated its ambition to make China a leading scientific power. This initiative represents probably the most overt utilization of science and scholarship for political goals since the block confrontation during the Cold War. From a distance, observers come to very different preliminary assessments of these developments: while some fear that the world will be buried under an “avalanche” of Chinese science (The Guardian, 2014) that could change the way in which science is practiced, others assert it to be impossible to achieve genuine scientific and scholarly leadership under an authoritarian regime.
Going beyond sensational reporting, this Lise Meitner Research Group will take a close and comprehensive look at these various developments, with a special interest in exploring the role of the political regime and non-political social structures as environmental factors for science and scholarship in contemporary Chinese society, in international academic cooperation, and in world science. Group members and associates with diverse disciplinary backgrounds will pursue qualitative and quantitative analyses in the following core research areas:
Chinese Perspectives on the Status of Science and Scholarship in Society
Structures, Dimensions, and Norms of China’s Contemporary Science Policy
Steering vs. Agency of Scientific Communities, Networks, and Individuals in China and in International Cooperation
Interactions of Scientific Standards and Practices with Societal Values and Ethical Principles in China and beyond