Monday, October 10, 2016

A useful paragraph from this week's C&EN

I have long desired a complete profile of the structure of academic and governmental chemical R&D in China. We have a general sense of the Harvard of China (Peking University) and some prominent institutions (Hangzhou University and the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, say.) Outside of that, I confess my near-complete ignorance of the structure of the Chinese academic R&D apparatus.

So I welcome Mitch Jacoby's profile about the Beijing-based Institute of Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ICCAS), and I thought this was an especially helpful comment:
As might be expected from a large bureaucratic country, much of China’s scientific research is organized according to a hierarchical laboratory system. For example, the academy supports many so-called CAS Key Laboratories. CAS awards that prestigious designation—and the ample level of funding that goes with it—to teams of investigators with an impressive research track record in a select area. 
ICCAS is home to eight such labs including the CAS Key Laboratory of Organic Solids, the CAS Key Laboratory of Green Printing, the CAS Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Living Biosystems, and the CAS Key Laboratory of Engineering Plastics. 
A step up from those labs—in terms of prestige and financial support—are the so-called State Key Laboratories. ICCAS is home to three such labs, including the State Key Laboratory of Polymer Physics & Chemistry, the State Key Laboratory of Molecular Dynamics, and the State Key Laboratory for Structural Chemistry of Unstable & Stable Species.


  1. "Harvard of China"? No way, man, Fudan University number one! Tsinghua number two, Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry number one for chemistry.

    okay i may have just pulled that out of thin air

  2. I noticed already that high quality papers from China - those that contained preparative procedures that worked cleanly on the first try - often came from groups named "Key laboratory"

    1. For the longest time, I kept thinking "Who is this Key guy? He's got a lot of laboratories."

    2. The term is also used to describe schools - the "key school" of your state being the very best, and this applies from the first class you take in life. The level of pedigree and standards expected of Chinese students are absolutely dazzling, and not a way that makes me envy them in the least, but the result is typically extraordinary talent.

    3. I have discovered the relevant characters are "重点" which translate to something like "important point"?

    4. Another useful paragraph from this week's C&EN, in article about heparin manufacture: "the character for home 家 is made up of two symbols meaning pig and roof"