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Welcome to Global Science Challenges 

We investigate, advise, and develop approaches for managing the opportunities and risks of international scientific collaboration amidst rising geopolitical competition. We do this by:

  • Identifying and analysing trends in international scientific collaboration in the context of rising geopolitical competition

  • Examining and evaluating the responses taken by national governments, universities and research institutes, and academics

  • Promoting best-practice approaches to managing the risks and opportunities of international science engagement


In recent years, global scientific collaboration has expanded dramatically. The rise of new science nations during the past three decades has rapidly created an array of scientific, technological and economic benefits for the world as a whole.

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Figure 1: Trends in global science
Source: SciVal
At the same time, established global power structures have been altered and autocratization is on the rise. Today China is the largest producer of scientific publications and is world leading in a number of scientific and technological areas. Against this background, there have been growing concerns that China has used increasing global scientific collaboration to its economic, technological, and military advantage. In response, nations have taken varying approaches to manage the risks and opportunities of science collaboration with research actors in China. Government responses to the rise of China are particularly evident in the Western sphere and have strong securitization characteristics counter to the openness that characterizes the academic sector (Figure 2).
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Figure 2: The openness vs. securitization conflict
How these responses will impact international scientific collaboration in the long term is still not clear. Nonetheless it is obvious that the world is in need of continued, broadly dispersed and inclusive international science collaboration. This is particularly important when it comes to mitigating the effects of pandemics, climate change, biodiversity and habitat destruction as well as other global challenges that require collaboration across borders.
How can inclusive scientific collaboration, for the benefit of humanity and to solve global challenges, occur amid geopolitical tensions, increased national political goals to achieve global leadership in science and technology in a zero-sum game, and increasing knowledge securitization?
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