24 October 2020
by Xin Xu

How can we reimagine future global research post COVID-19?

COVID-19 is reshaping the world, including the academic world. What we were familiar with as ‘normal’ is fading away and will need to be rewritten.

The world is also witnessing a fast-growing body of research on COVID-19. International organisations, governments, scientific journals and funding bodies have been calling on researchers to join forces to tackle the crisis. Early bibliometric evidence suggests a continued existence of cross-border, interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral and multilateral collaboration.

On the other hand, competition and rivalry persist. The global race for a COVID-19 vaccine is a telling example of the influence of competition and how scientific research and the intrinsic pursuit of knowledge is tangled with individual interests, institutional benefits, commercial values, public good and (geo)political factors.

In particular, the pandemic has exacerbated existing geopolitical tensions, resulting, for instance, in further restrictions on academic mobility and partnerships between China and the United States, two major influential producers of global research. It remains unclear if research in China, the United States and other countries will be reoriented toward a more global, regional, national or local agenda.

You can read the full blog post at University World News.