Oct 7, 2015

China now spends more on science than the EU, will soon overtake the US

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, science, space

Maybe we can convince the Chinese to start funding our space program.

On Monday, Chinese scientist Youyou Tu was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her discovery of a new malaria therapy. It was remarkable research in its own right, but equally significant is the fact that Tu is the first scientist to ever be awarded a Nobel Prize for work done at a Chinese institution — despite the fact that the country trains more scientists and engineers than any other nation on Earth.

In fact, China now spends more money on research and development than Europe, and by 2020, it’s predicted to outspend the US, as Nature editor Ed Gerstner wrote last month in Research Information. But despite that investment, there’s a big reason for why Chinese science has lagged behind other parts of the world — it has a long history of pumping out dodgy research.

It’s no secret that Chinese scientists have faked fossil records, pushed the boundaries of gene editing in humans, and have frequently been involved in peer review scams. The extent of fraud has been called “endemic” by a Chinese researcher, and a 2010 study of 32,000 Chinese scientists backed this up, revealing that 55 percent knew someone guilty of academic fraud.

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