LMRG / BCCN Lecture Series: China – The New Science Superpower?

China’s push to become a leading science power is unprecedented in its speed, scope and, arguably, success. Reactions to China’s rise in global science are dichotomous: some anticipate that science made in China may come to dominate global academia while others deem it impossible to achieve scientific leadership under an authoritarian regime. A focus on rankings and statistics alone is apparently not enough to grasp the origins, characteristics, and the possible futures of China as a science superpower.

This monthly lecture series will bring together fresh empirical insights and intriguing theoretical reflections about the development of the science system in the People’s Republic of China and its global integration. Representing a variety of social science perspectives, our guest speakers will explore the evolution of Chinese science policy, interactions of societal norms and values and academia in the PRC, factors that enable or constrain scientific innovation, the global reception of scientific output and investment from China, the securitization of international collaboration, and much more.


Format and Participation:

The talks will be held online and recorded with the speaker’s permission.

Please find the registration links below.



This lecture series is organized by the LMRG, in cooperation with the Berlin Contemporary China Network; see more information about LMRG here.


October 19, 2022, 2:00-3:30 pm (CET)

China’s Rise Challenges Notions of the Science-State Relations

Caroline Wagner, The Ohio State University



November 16, 2022, 2:00-3:30 pm (CET)

State-Science-Society: Tangled Ties in China’s Plans to Become a Science Superpower

Susan Greenhalgh, Harvard University



December 7, 2022, 2:00-3:30 pm (CET)

Ascent of Chinese Universities in World Rankings – Global Ambitions, Local Governance?

Ma Liang, Renmin University of China 



January 11, 2023, 2:00-3:30 pm (CET)

Practice as the Criterion of Truth—Ruptures and Continuities of Scientific Knowledge Discourses in 20th Century China

Marc Matten, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg



February 8, 2023, 2:00-3:30 pm (CET)

China’s Innovation System: Driving or Translating Global Technological Trends?

Cao Cong, University of Nottingham



March 15, 2023, 2:00-3:30 pm (CET)

Military-Civil-Fusion and China’s AI Research Strategies

Emily S. Weinstein, Center for Security and Emerging Technology, Georgetown University



April 19, 2023, 2:00-3:30 pm (CET)

Roundtable: Global Perspectives on China’s Scientific Rise and Reach

Sari Hanafi (American University of Beirut), Daniel Murphy (Harvard Kennedy School),
Maria Elena Rodriguez (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro), Anastas Vangeli (School of Economics and Business, Ljubljana)



May 10, 2023, 2:00-3:30 pm (CET)

Infinite Expanses? China’s Space Science and Technology

Maximilian Mayer, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn



June 14, 2023, 2:00-3:30 pm (CET)

Roundtable: The Securitization, Moralization, and Idealization of Academic Cooperation with the PRC

Participants (tbc)