According to the US National Science Foundation (NSF) which
opened its third world office in Beijing on Wednesday US scientists
wish to collaborate more closely with their Chinese
"With the new office we expect to bring up more new ideas and
further programs in such areas as physics, bioscience and
information science," said Dr Arden L Bement, NSF director.
He added that research into global problems such as climate
change, ecological disasters and the spread of contagious diseases
would be their priorities.
"Our collaboration will not only focus on the nature of these
problems but also ways to deal with them," said Dr Bement.
Beijing is the third city outside the US where the NSF has
opened an office following Tokyo and Paris. Dr Bement said the
opening of the new office followed growing co-operation between
scientists from both countries in recent years.
"We have seen that there are great opportunities ahead so we've
set-up this operation to facilitate further collaboration," he
NSF's Beijing office will be led by William YB Chang who has
more than 20 years experience in science and engineering research,
education and policy in China.
Aside from research the NSF will also double its funding for
student exchanges over the next few years, said Dr Bement. "It’s
important because it can lead to a closer understanding of each
other's countries especially among young scientists," he
One of the related programs is the young scientist exchange
scheme which was jointly initiated by the NSF and the Ministry of
Science and Technology in 2004.
Through the program around 30 US master or doctor candidates
come to work in China's universities or research institutes each
year and receive tuition from Chinese mentors for eight weeks.
The NSF has had a close bond with Chinese scientific
organizations since the 1980s. Statistics show that over the years
it has spent about US$15 million in Sino-US scientific research
(China Daily May 25, 2006)