Science funding

China's next path to world domination: science

Chinese solar observatory equipment in a field in front of a beautiful sunset or sunrise.
Ming'antu Solar Observatory in China. Photo: Costfoto/Barcroft Images via Getty Images

Last week, China became the first country to land a spacecraft on the far side of the Moon — the clear sign of their scientific ambition, The Economist reports.

Why it matters: Under President Xi Jinping's direction, China is surging ahead with the recruitment of top scientists to work on new frontiers, while the U.S., without a similarly coherent strategy, risks falling behind the nation that has emerged as its most consequential adversary for the next century.

Trump shutdown hits science with stalled research, missed conferences

SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule and walkway rests atop a Falcon 9 rocket in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule and walkway rests atop a Falcon 9 rocket in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Jan. 3, 2018. Credit: SpaceX.

The partial government shutdown, now in its third week, is taking an increasingly heavy toll on some of the nation's premier science agencies and those that depend on them for their work, funding and in some cases, safety.

Why it matters: The U.S. faces increasing pressure from abroad, particularly from China, to maintain its leadership edge in innovation. The shutdown is hitting numerous science-focused agencies, including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Standards and Technology, NOAA, NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey.

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