Shortly after the World Health Organization’s visit to the Wuhan Institute of Virology on February 3, a reporter for an international newspaper asked me if China’s censorship would present an ‘insurmountable’ obstacle. ‘to come to an unbiased conclusion on the origins of COVID-19. At the same time, my phone carried the headlines of a Chinese nationalist newspaper proclaiming that the “bashing” of the investigation by the mainstream media was rooted in the denial of the “truth.” They came from a portal managed by Chinese scientific societies.
This mistrust is part of an escalating pattern. Without constructive engagement between scientists, the situation will worsen. Researchers inside and outside of China should do more effort to understand each other.
Two decades ago, global skepticism about Chinese science arguably prompted the country’s nascent life science community to raise its standards. In 2015, I founded an international group of experts to promote transparency in life sciences in China. Most of the scientists, ethicists, and policy makers I interviewed there appreciate frank discussions with peers around the world.
But what are they …
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