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How Can Chinese and Western Scientists Engage Constructively? 

Few problems facing societies respect international borders. But dealing with challenges like pandemics, climate change, and biosecurity at the global level requires navigating a complex landscape of political tensions, cultural differences, and—since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic—travel restrictions.
 
For researchers working on these issues, collaboration with international colleagues exposes them to knowledge and perspectives that can inspire new approaches and ideas. Yet the relationship between the most important actors in global science and technology, China and the West, is particularly fraught. Attempting to build a productive dialogue between scientists, Joy Y. Zhang, Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley, and Kathleen M. Vogel created a series of regular meetings focused on governance of the life sciences.
 
“Our aim,” they write, “was to host a trusted forum where researchers inside and outside China could meet regularly, under the motto ‘sharing perspectives on shared challenges.’” What they learned through the process underscores both the difficulties and rewards of bringing together individuals with very different backgrounds, cultures, and expectations.

Read more about how to build sustained and meaningful dialogue between scientific communities.

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PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
Creating a Science-Engaged Public
True public engagement in the research enterprise, write Susan D. Renoe and Christofer Nelson, is built on communication, education, and outreach.
FALL 2022 EDITION
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THE POLICIES BEHIND THE HEADLINES
Nevada is pressing US regulators to officially kill long-troubled plans to establish a site at Yucca Mountain as a repository for radioactive waste from the nation’s nuclear power plants. With the government’s failure to develop acceptable long-term storage options, Başak Saraç-Lesavre wrote in Issues, private companies are building their own facilities for storing spent nuclear fuel for up to 40 years. But this shift, the author argued, gives citizens no “voice in defining what constitutes a desirable and morally defensible way to govern nuclear waste in the present and future.”
Programming note: There will be no newsletter next week, as the Issues team will be on its quarterly break.
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Header photo by Daniel Kim.
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