Xenophobes Posture, The Scientists Invent

But could recent U.S. and Chinese policies cripple Nobel-quality collaborations? HOUSTON--The homely laboratory is many worlds away from London’s Old Vic theater. But the two jumbled floors of the University of Houston’s Science & Research Building #1 are a stage nonetheless, the setting for one small but important scene in an international drama of Shakespearean proportions. For while two mighty governments indulge in spasms of xenophobia, citizens of those nations are quietly c

Steven Reed
May 29, 1988

But could recent U.S. and Chinese policies cripple Nobel-quality collaborations?

HOUSTON--The homely laboratory is many worlds away from London’s Old Vic theater. But the two jumbled floors of the University of Houston’s Science & Research Building #1 are a stage nonetheless, the setting for one small but important scene in an international drama of Shakespearean proportions.

For while two mighty governments indulge in spasms of xenophobia, citizens of those nations are quietly collaborating and, in doing so, have pushed back the frontiers of science here in their cluttered, jerry-built lab. The scientific collaborators are U.S. citizen and superconductivity superstar Ching-Wing Paul Chu and Chinese citizen and materials researcher Ruling Meng.

Super Scientists

The governments are the current administrations of the United States and the People’s Republic of China. Because the collaboration of Drs. Chu and Meng has brought pioneering results, their governments may overlook those aspects of the partnership that...