Science Editor-in-Chief Marcia McNutt Meets With Chinese Premier Li Keqiang

In their meeting in Beijing, Li and McNutt discussed the importance of science and technology to global economic growth.

Science Editor-in-Chief Marcia McNutt was honored to meet with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on 13 January in Beijing to discuss international scientific cooperation and the importance of science and technology to economic growth.

The 70-minute meeting was covered by China's largest television channel, CCTV1, during the influential daily news program called Xinwen Lianbo.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (right) meets with Editor-in-Chief of U.S. journal Science Marcia McNutt in Beijing, China, Jan. 13, 2014. Xinhua/Xie Huanchi

Their meeting included topics concerning the environment, climate change, goals for space exploration, education and international cooperation, according to McNutt.

Li praised Science's role in promoting basic science research and in sharing Chinese researchers' findings with the world. McNutt presented Li with a copy of the current issue of Science as well as a special supplement published by the journal's Custom Publishing division in 2012, on science in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

"It was an unexpected pleasure to have the opportunity to meet with Premier Li, an event facilitated by the efforts of Dr. Chunli Bai, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences," said McNutt. "The fact that such a busy political leader of the world's most populous country would spend more than an hour discussing pressing science issues with me is testament to the value he places in science to inform decision-making and to lead China to a more prosperous future."

The 13 January meeting was arranged with the help of Ruolei Wu, Science's associate director of collaboration, operations and custom publishing in China, and Bill Moran, Science's director of global collaboration and custom publications.

McNutt is the latest Science editor to meet with top-level Chinese officials, following former Editor-in-Chief Bruce Alberts' extensive visit with former Premier Wen Jiabao in 2008. Alberts' visit followed a series of agreements signed by top officials from AAAS, including Chief International Officer Vaughan C. Turekian and Center for Science Diplomacy Deputy Director Tom C. Wang, and Chinese science and technology organizations. The agreements with CAS and the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) included commitments to joint publishing and translation of scientific articles, and a pledge to seek collaborative projects in sustainability, public understanding of science and engineering, science education, and creating science and technology opportunities for women. In 2010, CAST and AAAS signed a separate agreement to establish a joint Steering Committee to coordinate work on ethics in science by the two organizations.

In September 2012, Alberts, Mark Frankel, director of the AAAS Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights, and Law Program, Shirley Malcom, director of AAAS Education and Human Resources, AAAS Office of Public Programs Director Ginger Pinholster and EurekAlert! Chinese Associate Editor Joy Ma traveled to China in support of these programs.