For Bruce Alberts, editor-in-chief of the prestigious journal Science, his recent visit to China in late September has been pretty impressive.
"Chinese scientific know-how certainly is on the rise," Alberts told Xinhua in a recent interview. The number of patents and scholarly journal articles by scientists and engineers in China is rising sharply.
The Science journal published in 2007 alone approximately 30 articles by Chinese authors or co-authors. Science editors receive some 12,000 submissions worldwide, and they ultimately accept and publish only about 7 percent of the submissions, after a rigorous peer review process.
"We have been very pleased to showcase a number of important research articles by China-based scientists and engineers," said Alberts, who served as editor-in-chief of Science since March 1, 2008.
Founded in 1880, Science has been the official journal of the non-profit AAAS (the American Association for the Advancement of Science) since 1900. Now, each week an estimated 1 million people worldwide read the journal.
Most recently, Science offered the first-ever press briefing in Beijing related to a journal article by Chinese scientists about a pest-resistant form of cotton. Another example of the magazine's efforts to showcase Chinese science and technology was an article by Chinese author You Hailu which described his discovery of a fossil of Gansus yumenensis, one of the oldest members of the lineage leading to modern birds. An encounter with the author during his tour of Washington D.C. led to the publication of his article.
"Other exemplary Science papers by Chinese authors have provided new insights to SARS and the rice genome," Alberts recalled. "Science magazine is very proud of these efforts, and pleased to see China-based scientists and engineers succeeding."
AAAS sent its first delegation to China in 1978. During the past 30 years, "China undoubtedly has become much more open to international research cooperation and other types of collaboration with the rest of the world," he said.