Science Thread


BoraTas

Junior Member
Registered Member
Unfortunately, China is very bad on funding fundamental science research as a portion of its total R&D budget.

The CEPC is a very good first step and i hope it is completed, however from what I know it is yet to be fully funded (currently funding studies and reports but not for construction)

Still, the funding for these kinds of research is very very low for China.

To give you a figure, for the US, basic funndamental science funding is 20% of its total R&D funding (i.e. 20% of ~3.4% R&D of GDP). While for China funding for the same kind of science is only 6% of its total R&D funding (i.e 6% of 2.4% R&D of GDP)

I mean look at these numbers for China. Dreadful numbers and ridiculously low for a country aspiring to be a scientific powerhouse in the future. And the worst is that on this 5 year plan, they said with great fanfare that the basic science budget will be increased by ~7% annually until 2025. But even with this, at the end of 2025 it is estimated that basic research will have grown as a proportion of total R&D from 6 to 7-8% of total R&D...Look at this number, total joke. While the US is doubling down on this research and it will dramatically increase the budget, China is playing around with this low digit number.

Now, of course as China continues to grow, its R&D (including basic science) will continue to grow naturally as a portion of the GDP, however this 5 year plan unfortunately shows that China places much much more emphasis on applied research than funding fundamental science
Unfortunately, pure science is a luxury for developing countries. It usually takes 30-50 years for a scientific discovery to bring money. In mathematics, this is up to 200 years. From a monetary perspective, it is an extremely long-term investment with a low return on investment.
 

voyager1

Junior Member
Registered Member
Unfortunately, pure science is a luxury for developing countries. It usually takes 30-50 years for a scientific discovery to bring money. In mathematics, this is up to 200 years. From a monetary perspective, it is an extremely long-term investment with a low return on investment.
I agree that it is luxury for developing countries. I also agree that it takes around 30 years for results (maybe it is accelerating now due to greater access to advanced technological instruments and computing) but this kind of research is going to bring huge bucks of return in the long long term. These technologies that when mastered would be a kind of "strategic reserve" for China

Ti better illustrate this, with this kind of sustained basic science funding from the US they are on top now, and who knows what their military is cooking up on their advanced labs.

However I understand why China is focusing on applied research which brings short to medium term results relatively quickly. But China must understand that basic science research is the foundation of a country's strength for the future. So even though its funding is still too low I hope to see the Chinese gov at the very least, giving the green light for the CEPC collider to built in China
 

voyager1

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China’s National Audit Office said last year that government R&D spending converted poorly to commercial applications, with only 8.4 per cent of patents owned by universities and research institutes transferred or licensed for commercial use.

Among the 20 randomly audited university-affiliated science and technology parks, two had failed to commercialise any of their research output for more than a decade.
Lei Chaozi, the education ministry’s director general of science and technology, said in late 2019 that while the top Chinese universities had five times the patents of their American counterparts fewer than 10 per cent were converted to commercial applications, compared to 40 per cent in the US.
These are very bad statistics for China, and it shows that its policy of subsiding filing of patents (quantity over quality) has utterly failed. Bad policies from Xi regarding this aspect

In his 2019 speech, Lei said too many patents were filed by Chinese universities to meet performance assessment targets for academic staff and their research projects.
Another example of Xi failing to understand that giving simple quantified targets to meet, only serves to to incentivise people to find loopholes which are actually damaging for the country. This is why the political targets for promotion are so dangerous and they must be carefully considered and studied before implemented.

And it is actually worrisome that he thinks that science and engineering happens by the number of patents and papers.
 
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PiSigma

"the engineer"
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These are very bad statistics for China, and it shows that its policy of subsiding filing of patents (quantity over quality) has utterly failed. Bad policies from Xi regarding this aspect


Another example of Xi failing to understand that giving simple quantified targets to meet, only serves to to incentivise people to find loopholes which are actually damaging for the country. This is why the political targets for promotion are so dangerous and they must be carefully considered and studied before implemented.

And it is actually worrisome that he thinks that science and engineering happens by the number of patents and papers.
Yep, xi personally decides these things and reads every patent.

I'm working on a patent right now, but I'm submitting it to prevent a partner company from using something I designed in a possible future joint venture. So it eventually will become trash patent as well.
 

voyager1

Junior Member
Registered Member
Yep, xi personally decides these things and reads every patent.

I'm working on a patent right now, but I'm submitting it to prevent a partner company from using something I designed in a possible future joint venture. So it eventually will become trash patent as well.
Lmao, nice deflection.

These patent subsidies were decided on the previous decade 5 year plans. Were Xi not involved on these plans?...
And on this 5 year plan, it still didn't say that they are going away with these subsidies, tell me, wasn't Xi involved on this as well?..sure thing..

And setting Key Targets for patents and scientific papers were also policies he was involved. He is now in charge for almost 10 years now and you are telling me he wasn't aware of these issues?..sure thing..

And tell me, Xi likes to take credit for various achievements of China even when the countless small details are pieced together by the bureaucratic machine, so now that his policies on patents and science are not bearing the results he wanted, he wants to hide behind and blame others?.
I am sure thats a sign of a real leader, taking credit when things go well, and hiding when things go bad

So all these grand proclamations that we were hearing for all these years, about China having so many patents (more than the US) were empty talk and most of them were junk. So he often took credit on the number of patents but now that almost half of them are junk he is hiding and doesn't say anything.

This is a big problem for China. If this is how he plans to compete with the real scientific powerhouse that the US is, then he is in big trouble because China is not a scientific powerhouse at all, and now that US is ramping up R&D (especially fundamental science), things will be very difficult for China if it continues with its junk patents
 
Lmao, nice deflection.

These patent subsidies were decided on the previous decade 5 year plans. Were Xi not involved on these plans?...
And on this 5 year plan, it still didn't say that they are going away with these subsidies, tell me, wasn't Xi involved on this as well?..sure thing..

And setting Key Targets for patents and scientific papers were also policies he was involved. He is now in charge for almost 10 years now and you are telling me he wasn't aware of these issues?..sure thing..

And tell me, Xi likes to take credit for various achievements of China even when the countless small details are pieced together by the bureaucratic machine, so now that his policies on patents and science are not bearing the results he wanted, he wants to hide behind and blame others?.
I am sure thats a sign of a real leader, taking credit when things go well, and hiding when things go bad

So all these grand proclamations that we were hearing for all these years, about China having so many patents (more than the US) were empty talk and most of them were junk. So he often took credit on the number of patents but now that almost half of them are junk he is hiding and doesn't say anything.

This is a big problem for China. If this is how he plans to compete with the real scientific powerhouse that the US is, then he is in big trouble because China is not a scientific powerhouse at all, and now that US is ramping up R&D (especially fundamental science), things will be very difficult for China if it continues with its junk patents
First of all, this is nothing new. Chinese tech has always been growing at the fastest pace in the world with this issue and if anything, the situation is improving. Here, it says that the new drive is to convert quantity into quality, which means that the plan has entered into its next phase. China built its economy the same way; the first phase is to become a large economy making mostly cheap low tech stuff, and the second phase is to seek quality growth into an advanced economy powered by the resources of a large economy. So the targets set for number of patents was done to spur the fast and dirty phase of China's technological innovation, like asking a child to write something every day even if it's crap. The next phase, as this paper says, the leaning phase to turn those patents into something useful and to turn abundant low quality writing into high quality literature. You cannot skip this step and tell a child who barely writes, "I don't need you to write a lot but I need you to write me just one masterpiece." Asking these institutions to suddenly churn out many high quality immediately-useful patents is not realistic so the first phase got them used to developing patents and filing massive numbers of them building a solid scientific and operational base and the second phase will get them to put more purpose into them.

There is no doubt that Xi and his scientific advisors knew that you could not set a target for patent filing and everyone will meet that target with all commercially-applicable patents. You don't give people enough credit and you don't give the situation enough thought. There is no failure here but a two-step process that mirrors China's economic development; the failure is that by the end of step one, you expected to see results designated for the end of step two causing you to go off criticizing people without proper analysis. And even as China churned through the inefficiencies of step one, it was still developing useful translatable tech faster than the US and EU, which is what put them in the panic that they are in now.
 
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voyager1

Junior Member
Registered Member
First of all, this is nothing new. Chinese tech has always been growing at the fastest pace in the world with this issue and if anything, the situation is improving. Here, it says that the new drive is to convert quantity into quality, which means that the plan has entered into its next phase. China built its economy the same way; the first phase is to become a large economy making mostly cheap low tech stuff, and the second phase is to seek quality growth into an advanced economy. So the targets set for number of patents was done to spur the fast and dirty phase of China's technological innovation, like a dirty bulk at the gym to put on weight fast. The next phase, as this paper says, the leaning phase to turn those patents into something useful and to turn a large chubby figure into a muscular one. Asking these institutions to suddenly churn out many high quality immediately useful patents is not realistic so the first phase got them used to developing patents and filing massive numbers of them and the second phase will get them to put more purpose into them.

There is no doubt that Xi and his scientific advisors knew that you could not set a target for patent filing and everyone will meet that target with all commercially-applicable patents. You don't give people enough credit and you don't give the situation enough thought. There is no failure here but a two-step process that mirrors China's economic development; the failure is that by the end of step one, you expected to see results designated for the end of step two causing you to go off criticizing people without proper analysis. And even as China churned through the inefficiencies of step one, it was still developing useful translatable tech faster than the US and EU, which is what put them in the panic that they are in now.
Thank you, this was a very insightful reply and I think you are correct on this.

I like your comparison with the economic progress, so the early 2000s was the quick "junk" growth and after the 2010s it switched to quality growth.
So now it should be quick "junk" patent filling growth to start the R&D capabilities and should now switch to more quality patents fillings.
 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
For fundamental science you need lots of funds for more researchers, better facilities, better scientific measurements tools/sensors, more big science projects (CEPC, fusion project) which are very expensive, more funding for international collaboration. And then you need more satellites, more observatories, more detectors for making different measurements and many many more things.

So its not as easy as having pencil and paper for basic science. And for theorists lol, these guys dont need much funding as you said, they can only need some low salaries and thats done then ... but even then ultimately depend on fundumental science funds because they need more data for scientific projects to refine their theories or make new one.

The one exception(who I know, but I amvsure there others) which didn't need such big experiments is Einstein who is Einstein, no comment here, this guy wasn't even human
Not just Einstein but theoretical physic does not need equipment they use math to posit a hypothesis or disprove it but eventually it is up to experimental physic to confirm their theory. Now these people need a lot of equipment. Some theory take up to hundred of year to prove it

Quantum mechanic was invented by Heisenberg before the era of computer and so do relative theory by Einstein. quantum theory is the foundation of modern Physics all the calculation of A bomb, nuclear reactor was based on quantum theory. Einstein is a human all right He failed twice in the entrance examination at ETH and very bad at social study. ETH is the MIT of Europe
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voyager1

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Wow, big funding boosts for R&D from the Biden's budget proposal. Thats like 20% budget increase for every science agency in a single year.

China should take note with their pathetic "7% annual increase on basic science".

The US has just started and it increased its bigger than China's R&D budget, by 20% in a single year.

Xi better take the signal and if he really wants to compete with the US as he has said many times, then his 7% is nothing against the US.

In a single year 20% increase. Then imagine, next year and the year after what more increases will happen? Xi must have thought that the US is a paper tiger, now he is going to understand what will happen when the US starts throwing money for R&D.

The test is if Biden manages to have his budget proposal pass the Congress but i think he will manage. So far he has shown his political acumen
 
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Skywatcher

Captain
China will probably see really big basic R&D increases in 2030 (around the time the Circular Electron Positron Collider is supposed to go online, though like other big science projects, the CEPC will probably a delay of a few years)
 

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