Great Expectations in China

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Science  17 Apr 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5362, pp. 359
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5362.359c

In her article “Chemist to lead new science ministry” (Research News, 27 Mar., p. 2034), Xiong Lei notes that Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji has promoted Zhu Lilan, a polymer chemist, to head the new Ministry of Science and Technology. Much is expected of the new Cabinet and of Premier Zhu Rongji, especially with respect to strengthening the economy.

Although science and technology are essential for China's success, democracy is another player to whom Zhu Rongji might give an important role. Many Western-educated Chinese have long believed that science and democracy are key characters in China's future.

The mentor of Minister Zhu Lilan is Qian Renyuan (not Wenyuan, as his name was spelled in the article). Having graduated from Zhejiang University, “an oriental Cambridge,” Qian Renyuan may be the best- known living polymer scientist in China.

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