China—The New Science Superpower?
Past Research Colloquia & Workshops
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 bloc competition during the Cold War. From a distance, observers come to very different preliminary assessments of these developments: while some fear that global academia will be overwhelmed by the mere quantity of “Chinese science” which could also change the ways 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 other social structures as environmental factors for science and scholarship in contemporary Chinese society, in international academic cooperation, and in world science.
Combining social science perspectives and area studies’ expertise, the Lise Meitner Research Group “China in the Global System of Science” provides a framework especially for the study of the following larger research themes and 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
Group members and associates with diverse disciplinary backgrounds will pursue qualitative and quantitative analyses in and across these core research areas through individual and collaborative projects. Although the group’s research will mainly focus on the contemporary period and be based on approaches grounded in the social sciences, it will also include historical perspectives and a variety of innovative methods. The group also seeks to make its research accessible and available for comparative analyses and is looking forward to exchanging with scholars who work on similar topics in different time periods, contexts, or world regions.
Read more in the MPIWG’s Feature Story “China in the Global System of Science.”
Stichweh, Rudolf (2022). “Resonanz auf das Virus: die Coronapandemie als die Pandemie einer kommunikationsbasierten Weltgesellschaft.” In Die Coronavirus-Pandemie und ihre Folgen, ed. U. Stephani, K. Ott, and C. Bozzaro, 379–401. Kiel: Universitätsverlag Kiel. https://macau.uni-kiel.de/receive/macau_mods_00002747.
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