The Chinese Academy of Sciences should focus on major science centers – Fxsad

The Chinese Academy of Sciences should focus on major science centers

If it wants to remain relevant, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) must focus its resources on managing large-scale research infrastructure, authors of a recent study in the journal Science They advised.

In the year Since its founding in 1949, CAS has become one of the largest scientific institutions in the world, funding key strategic weapons programs in the mid-20th century. But it has faced pressure from Beijing to justify its high spending over the past decade.

Today, as China’s universities continue to develop high-quality research, academia is doing some soul-searching on how to stay relevant.

According to the authors, led by Zhiyi Yang, a researcher at Shanghai Tech University, concentrating its resources on “big science” centers will help CAS “enhance its uniqueness and strategic importance” and stand out among China’s many research institutions.

“By directing resources toward larger science-related institutes, CAS may be able to gradually reduce other categories of institutes and reduce redundant or ineffective activities,” they write.

Over the years, CAS has undergone many reforms, from funding projects with commercial applications in the 1980s to establishing research institutes in emerging disciplines and working with local governments in the late 1990s. In the year In the 2000s, CAS was supporting overlapping research areas at different institutions, with the projects “unnecessarily” duplicating each other, the authors noted.

In the year By 2021, the Academy will spend £10.8bn on science and technology, with 44% of funding provided by the Chinese government. CAS includes more than 100 institutions across China, employing 69,000 researchers and 79,000 graduate students.

While some of these centers could be cut, CAS would put more resources into national labs, the authors suggest.

“Rather than diverting and wasting China’s growing but still very limited resources to haphazard but untried organizations, it may be more cost-effective and efficient to convert parts of the CAS into national laboratories,” he said.

The change in direction would help the academy avoid “anarchic competition with universities and industrial research institutes,” he said.

Still, the authors warn that the process of turning CAS into national laboratories will be “complicated and even radical and painful, given its history.”

In addition, the leadership of the Academy cautions that “it may begin to think about shifting resources…” and that we do not suggest that other categories of institutions should quickly separate from the Academy.

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