Fighting Trend, China Is Luring Scientists Home

The New York Times reports on Chinese scientists who have made successful careers for themselves in the U.S. but choose to return to China after receiving generous incentive packages from the government:

Determined to reverse the drain of top talent that accompanied its opening to the outside world over the past three decades, [China's leaders] are using their now ample financial resources — and a dollop of national pride — to entice scientists and scholars home.

The West, and the United States in particular, remain more attractive places for many Chinese scholars to study and do research. But the return of Dr. Shi and some other high-profile scientists is a sign that China is succeeding more quickly than many experts expected at narrowing the gap that separates it from technologically advanced nations.

China’s spending on research and development has steadily increased for a decade and now amounts to 1.5 percent of gross domestic product. The United States devotes 2.7 percent of its G.D.P. to research and development, but China’s share is far higher than that of most other developing countries.

January 6, 2010 9:45 PM
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