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转帖:2020年中国成为第一科学产出大国  

2010-01-09 14:53:59|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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觉得两篇文章非转不可。

一个好消息,一个坏消息。好消息是否真好,坏消息是否真坏,大家自己判断。

好消息说,由于中国的经济增长和科技经费的逐年增加(增长率18%),中国将在2020年成为第一科学产出大国,文章并判断届时中国科学产出的质量也会很高。这是New Scientist发表的一篇作者为Jonathan Adams的文章。

第二篇文章,是我最近认识的朋友Oswaldo Zapata推荐给我的。这篇文章发表在纽约时报上,文章说逆向投资者 James S. Chanos预言中国经济将垮台。

这两篇文章当然是矛盾的,如果中国很快进入经济冬天,2020年中国不会成为科学产出第一大国。大家自己判断吧。

最后,预告一下,我下一篇博文谈Erik Verlinde最近的工作,我将在礼拜二在理论所做lunch seminar,题目是《引力是“熵力”吗》,欢迎有条件的人届时来理论所围观。

第一篇文章

Get ready for China’s domination of science

* 06 January 2010 by Jonathan Adams
* Magazine issue 2742. Subscribe and get 4 free issues.
* For similar stories, visit the Comment and Analysis Topic Guide

SINCE its economic reform began in 1978, China has gone from being a poor developing country to the second-largest economy in the world. China has also emerged from isolation to become a political superpower. Its meteoric rise has been one of the most important global changes of recent years: the rise of China was the most-read news story of the decade, surpassing even 9/11 and the Iraq war.

Yet when it comes to science and technology, most people still think of China as being stuck in the past and only visualise a country with massive steelworks and vast smoking factories.

That may have been true a few years ago, but it is no longer the case. Very quietly, China has become the world’s second-largest producer of scientific knowledge, surpassed only by the US, a status it has achieved at an awe-inspiring rate. If it continues on its current trajectory China will overtake the US before 2020 and the world will look very different as a result. The historical scientific dominance of North America and Europe will have to adjust to a new world order.

In the west, we are largely familiar with research systems in which money, people and output stay roughly the same from year to year. Research spending in Europe and North America has outpaced economic growth since 1945, but not by a dramatic amount.

Not so with China. Data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development shows that between 1995 and 2006, China’s gross expenditure on R&D (GERD) grew at an annual rate of 18 per cent. China now ranks third on GERD, just behind the US and Japan and ahead of any individual European Union state.

Universities have experienced similar growth. China’s student population has reportedly reached 25 million, up from just 5 million nine years ago. China now has 1700 higher education institutions, around 100 of which make up the “Project 211″ group. These elite institutions train four-fifths of PhD students, two-thirds of graduate students and one-third of undergraduates. They are home to 96 per cent of the country’s key laboratories and consume 70 per cent of scientific research funding.
China’s student population has reached 25 million, up from just 5 million nine years ago

What impact has this had? I recently authored a report analysing China’s research strengths and its patterns of international collaboration. The data was drawn from Thomson Reuters, which indexes scientific papers from around 10,500 journals worldwide.

In 1998, China’s research output was around 20,000 articles per year. In 2006 it reached 83,000, overtaking the traditional science powerhouses of Japan, Germany and the UK. Last year it exceeded 120,000 articles, second only to the US’s 350,000.

Compare that rate of growth with the US, where research output increased by about 30 per cent over the past decade, and it is clear that normal ideas about science management simply do not apply to China.

China is also diversifying its research base. A traditional industrial economy would focus its research on physical sciences and engineering, and our findings confirm that this is where China has been concentrating. But it is also rapidly shifting out of the old economy into new areas.

China produces 10 per cent of the world’s publications in engineering, computer sciences and earth sciences, including minerals. It now also produces 20 per cent of global output in materials sciences, with a leading position in composites, ceramics and polymer science and a strong presence in crystallography and metallurgical engineering. The implications for future industrial development are enormous, as China makes the transition from a manufacturing economy to a knowledge economy based on research coming out of its own institutions.

Agricultural research is also expanding as China takes a scientific approach to its vast food demand and supply. Its relatively small share of molecular biology and related areas - around 5 per cent - has suddenly become an investment focus too. If growth in biomedical sciences is as rapid and substantial as it has been elsewhere then China’s impact on gene and protein research will be profound.

An obvious word of warning needs to be made here: quantity is not the same as quality. Measuring the volume of China’s scientific output is clearly both valuable and surprising but it doesn’t tell us whether that research was any good. For that we turn to a useful proxy: China’s scientific collaboration with other countries better known for the high quality of their science. The results here, too, are eye-opening.

China is not doing science behind closed doors; its international collaborations are growing. Nearly 9 per cent of papers originating from Chinese institutions have a US-based co-author. Japanese and British co-authorship is also growing. Collaboration with South Korea and Singapore almost trebled between 2004 and 2008 and collaboration with Australia expanded too - signs, perhaps, of an emerging Asia-Pacific regional network.

So what does this all mean? Firstly, China’s emergence as a scientific superpower can no longer be denied, and it is a question of when rather than if it will become the world’s most prolific producer of scientific knowledge. Perhaps more importantly, China’s expanding regional collaborations show that Asia-Pacific nations no longer rely on links to the European and American institutions that have traditionally led the science world.

The question for the EU and the US as we enter the new decade is no longer about whether we should collaborate with China, but what we can bring to the table to ensure that China wants to collaborate with us.

Jonathan Adams is director of research evaluation at Thomson Reuters in London. He is co-author of Global Research Report: China

原文地址

第二篇文章

Contrarian Investor Sees Economic Crash in China

By DAVID BARBOZA
Published: January 7, 2010

SHANGHAI — James S. Chanos built one of the largest fortunes on Wall Street by foreseeing the collapse of Enron and other highflying companies whose stories were too good to be true.
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Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News

James Chanos made his hedge fund fortune predicting problems at companies and shorting their stock.
Related
To Slow Growth, China Raises an Interest Rate (January 8, 2010)
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Now Mr. Chanos is betting against China, and is promoting his view that the China miracle has blinded investors to the risks in that economy.

Now Mr. Chanos, a wealthy hedge fund investor, is working to bust the myth of the biggest conglomerate of all: China Inc.

As most of the world bets on China to help lift the global economy out of recession, Mr. Chanos is warning that China’s hyperstimulated economy is headed for a crash, rather than the sustained boom that most economists predict. Its surging real estate sector, buoyed by a flood of speculative capital, looks like “Dubai times 1,000 — or worse,” he frets. He even suspects that Beijing is cooking its books, faking, among other things, its eye-popping growth rates of more than 8 percent.

“Bubbles are best identified by credit excesses, not valuation excesses,” he said in a recent appearance on CNBC. “And there’s no bigger credit excess than in China.” He is planning a speech later this month at the University of Oxford to drive home his point.

As America’s pre-eminent short-seller — he bets big money that companies’ strategies will fail — Mr. Chanos’s narrative runs counter to the prevailing wisdom on China. Most economists and governments expect Chinese growth momentum to continue this year, buoyed by what remains of a $586 billion government stimulus program that began last year, meant to lift exports and consumption among Chinese consumers.

Still, betting against China will not be easy. Because foreigners are restricted from investing in stocks listed inside China, Mr. Chanos has said he is searching for other ways to make his bets, including focusing on construction- and infrastructure-related companies that sell cement, coal, steel and iron ore.

Mr. Chanos, 51, whose hedge fund, Kynikos Associates, based in New York, has $6 billion under management, is hardly the only skeptic on China. But he is certainly the most prominent and vocal.

For all his record of prescience — in addition to predicting Enron’s demise, he also spotted the looming problems of Tyco International, the Boston Market restaurant chain and, more recently, home builders and some of the world’s biggest banks — his detractors say that he knows little or nothing about China or its economy and that his bearish calls should be ignored.

“I find it interesting that people who couldn’t spell China 10 years ago are now experts on China,” said Jim Rogers, who co-founded the Quantum Fund with George Soros and now lives in Singapore. “China is not in a bubble.”

Colleagues acknowledge that Mr. Chanos began studying China’s economy in earnest only last summer and sent out e-mail messages seeking expert opinion.

But he is tagging along with the bears, who see mounting evidence that China’s stimulus package and aggressive bank lending are creating artificial demand, raising the risk of a wave of nonperforming loans.

“In China, he seems to see the excesses, to the third and fourth power, that he’s been tilting against all these decades,” said Jim Grant, a longtime friend and the editor of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, who is also bearish on China. “He homes in on the excesses of the markets and profits from them. That’s been his stock and trade.”

Mr. Chanos declined to be interviewed, citing his continuing research on China. But he has already been spreading the view that the China miracle is blinding investors to the risk that the country is producing far too much.

“The Chinese,” he warned in an interview in November with Politico.com, “are in danger of producing huge quantities of goods and products that they will be unable to sell.”

In December, he appeared on CNBC to discuss how he had already begun taking short positions, hoping to profit from a China collapse.

In recent months, a growing number of analysts, and some Chinese officials, have also warned that asset bubbles might emerge in China.

The nation’s huge stimulus program and record bank lending, estimated to have doubled last year from 2008, pumped billions of dollars into the economy, reigniting growth.

But many analysts now say that money, along with huge foreign inflows of “speculative capital,” has been funneled into the stock and real estate markets.

A result, they say, has been soaring prices and a resumption of the building boom that was under way in early 2008 — one that Mr. Chanos and others have called wasteful and overdone.

“It’s going to be a bust,” said Gordon G. Chang, whose book, “The Coming Collapse of China” (Random House), warned in 2001 of such a crash.

Friends and colleagues say Mr. Chanos is comfortable betting against the crowd — even if that crowd includes the likes of Warren E. Buffett and Wilbur L. Ross Jr., two other towering figures of the investment world.

A contrarian by nature, Mr. Chanos researches companies, pores over public filings to sift out clues to fraud and deceptive accounting, and then decides whether a stock is overvalued and ready for a fall. He has a staff of 26 in the firm’s offices in New York and London, searching for other China-related information.

“His record is impressive,” said Byron R. Wien, vice chairman of Blackstone Advisory Services. “He’s no fly-by-night charlatan. And I’m bullish on China.”

Mr. Chanos grew up in Milwaukee, one of three sons born to the owners of a chain of dry cleaners. At Yale, he was a pre-med student before switching to economics because of what he described as a passionate interest in the way markets operate.

His guiding philosophy was discovered in a book called “The Contrarian Investor,” according to an account of his life in “The Smartest Guys in the Room,” a book that chronicled Enron’s rise and downfall.

After college, he went to Wall Street, where he worked at a series of brokerage houses before starting his own firm in 1985, out of what he later said was frustration with the way Wall Street brokers promoted stocks.

At Kynikos Associates, he created a firm focused on betting on falling stock prices. His theories are summed up in testimony he gave to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce in 2002, after the Enron debacle. His firm, he said, looks for companies that appear to have overstated earnings, like Enron; were victims of a flawed business plan, like many Internet firms; or have been engaged in “outright fraud.”

That short-sellers are held in low regard by some on Wall Street, as well as Main Street, has long troubled him.

Short-sellers were blamed for intensifying market sell-offs in the fall 2008, before the practice was temporarily banned. Regulators are now trying to decide whether to restrict the practice.

Mr. Chanos often responds to critics of short-selling by pointing to the critical role they played in identifying problems at Enron, Boston Market and other “financial disasters” over the years.

“They are often the ones wearing the white hats when it comes to looking for and identifying the bad guys,” he has said.

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