Economics of Science & Engineering Seminar: Creating and Connecting US and China Science: Chinese Diaspora Researchers and Returnee Researchers
Wednesday, October 5, 2022, 10:00am to 11:30am
Littauer M-16, North Yard - In person | and via ZOOM ZOOM LINK: full zoom details below
PRESENTER: Qingnan Xie (Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School)
TITLE: Creating and Connecting US and China Science: Chinese Diaspora Researchers and Returnee Researchers (paper joint with Richard B. Freeman, Harvard University and NBER)
The research activities of the US and China, the world’s largest producers of scientific papers, are highly interconnected through two groups of researchers – China-born (diaspora) researchers working in the US and (returnee) researchers who have returned from a diaspora experience to do their research in China. Over one-fourth of US-addressed papers have a diaspora author. Almost two-fifths of China-addressed papers have a US-experienced returnee author. Using citations and CiteScores as indicators of the impact/quality of papers, diaspora papers have greater impact/quality than other US-addressed papers and returnee papers have greater impact/quality than other China-addressed papers. Diaspora and/or returnee researchers are found on most US-China joint collaborations and contribute disproportionately to cross-citations between the US and China, making them key nodes in the collaboration and citation networks in science. The addresses show that many researchers move back and forth between China and the US and that some have Chinese and US addresses at the same time. The Covid-19 pandemic and early 2020s policies by both countries weakened US-China research ties, which risks slowing the advance of global research at a time when the world faces existential problems that need scientific solutions.