BEIJING—Impressed by China’s example, more than 100 scientists from Asia, Africa and Latin America have resolved to improve scientific and technical cooperation within and between their countries. But the September meeting here adjourned with no consensus on specific proposals.

“The secret of success is self-reliance plus a collective spirit, which I define as cooperation and coordination,” Lu Jiaxi, executive president of the Chinese Academy of Science, told delegates to the second general conference of the Third World Academy of Sciences. Lu offered data to show how far China has come since the 1949 revolution. The number of research and technical workers has grown from 50,000 (including fewer than 500 full-time researchers) to more than 10 million, of whom about 300,000 conduct scientific research, he said.

Third World scientists seeking to duplicate China’s progress face a number of challenges. High on that list is how to persuade their governments to increase...

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