In DepthScience Diplomacy

China's scientific treasures tempt foreign collaborators

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Science  02 Apr 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6537, pp. 17-18
DOI: 10.1126/science.372.6537.17

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Summary

China now has resources at the frontiers of astronomy and planetary science, and it is planning to share them with the international community. The country is encouraging international teams to apply to study the lunar samples returned to Earth by the Chang'e-5 mission in December 2020. Such research could answer questions about the evolution of the Moon and sharpen estimates of the ages of other Solar System bodies. And beginning this month, teams led by foreign principal investigators can apply for observing time on the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope. It is the most sensitive single-dish radio telescope in operation and is expected to yield new insights into pulsars and the interstellar medium. Although many scientists are lining up for access to these resources, others are questioning the propriety of cooperating with what they see as an authoritarian regime.

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