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Surprising Science

Sketchy Science from China

“The People’s Republic is becoming a technological superpower, but who’s checking the facts?” The New Humanist seeks out the Chinese science cops who fight fabrication and plagiarism.

“A government study, cited by Nature, found that about one-third of over 6,000 scientists surveyed at six top Chinese institutions had practised ‘plagiarism, falsification or fabrication’. As China enters a new phase of economic and geopolitical might – and its model of authoritarian capitalism gains an increasing number of admirers, from developing-world leaders to op-ed writers in the rich world – the country’s attitude towards honest, rational inquiry becomes of crucial importance. China’s approach to critical thinking will help define the country’s response to global scientific challenges, from pandemics to climate change and the environmental crisis.”


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