How do researchers manage to collaborate across national borders and language barriers? That is one of the many questions addressed in the booklet 'Based on Science, Built on Trust', published by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). Sixteen researchers from the Netherlands and China tell us how they have spent the past few years – and some cases, the past few decades – working together.
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The publication was recently presented to Zhang Jinxiong, Chargé d’Affaires at the Chinese Embassy in the Netherlands, Cao Jinghua, Deputy Director-General of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Ron Minnée, Deputy Director-General at the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. They took receipt of the book during the first KNAW NWO PhD event for Chinese PhD candidates conducting their doctoral research in the Netherlands. The event brought together these talented young researchers for an interactive afternoon of workshops and disputes.
The Netherlands and China took the first steps towards scientific collaboration back in 1876, when Dutch engineers helped canalise the Huangpu River in China. Official relations between the relevant ministries and science academies commenced in the 1980s. Thanks to these strong ties, both NWO and the Academy were able to launch various successful scientific collaboration programmes. In 2008, the two organisations decided to join forces.