Leaps and Boundaries: The Rise of China as a Science Superpower

June 24, 2019

(The Sydney Morning Herald) – That push to science superstardom is yielding dividends. Last year China overtook the US as the world’s largest producer of scientific papers. And it is propelled, says Nie, by a number of key traits in Chinese culture. Scientism, a veneration of science as key to social progress, is widespread. Anti-traditionalism, celebrated annually in the May 4 movement, elevates science and even democracy over traditional Confucian values such as “filial piety” – respect for parents and ancestors. And there is another popular attitude in China which has a disturbing resonance in the West. “He Jiankui’s experiment is part of the eugenics discourse,” says Nie.