Joy Y. Zhang, The De-nationalization and Re-nationalization of the Life Sciences in China: A Cosmopolitan Practicality?, FMSH-WP-2012-08
Stem cell research and synthetic biology offer complementary insights on the nature of scientific governance in China. Stem cells were essentially promoted by top-down semi-governmental initiatives. Yet it was through a process of ‘de-nationalization’ (in which a diversity of cross-border communications initiated by scientists effaced the dominance of a singular national voice) that China’s stem cell research gained global recognition. Meanwhile, the emergence of synthetic biology has shown a reverse pathway. While many ‘Chinese’ synthetic biology projects are primarily associated with international programs, this ‘de-nationalized’ start did not lead to an abandonment of a national agenda. Rather, synthetic biology in China has been transformed into a grassroots proposition of a ‘Big Question’ approach, which in effect creates a ‘re-nationalization’ by bringing synergy among domestic experts. Chinese stakeholders’ experience seems to indicate that scientific development is steered by a (cosmopolitan) practicality, which has lead to a bottom-up instrumentalization of the nation-state.
Le Collège d'études mondiales est le fleuron de la Fondation Maison des sciences de l'homme. La FMSH est une fondation de droit privé reconnue d’utilité publique dirigée aujourd’hui par le sociologue Michel Wieviorka. Sa vocation est de contribuer à la promotion des sciences humaines et sociales en veillant à leur pluridisciplinarité et à leur internationalisation.