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  • Author: May Johnston
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Chinese universities first reopened after the Cultural Revolution in 1977. Since 1949, no academic degrees had been awarded in China. The professors agreed with us that the time had come to invite specialists in American history and American literature to teach about our cultural patrimony rather than just teach English. Were we interested to learn about traditional Chinese opera, recently resurrected from the dead after the Gang of Four's departure? How did he, alone of all the officials I met in my two and a half years in Beijing, remain warm, curious, cheerful, open, enthusiastic, ever flashing a thousand watt smile and above all, so alive? I have photos of Ma grinning as he tried out my colleague's American motorcycle, Ma helping my two-year-old daughter with her chopsticks, Ma joking with the newly arrived Fulbright professors, who ended up relying on Ma as their interlocutor for every request or misunderstanding with the BeiDa authorities.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Education, History, Culture, Memoir
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North Africa, Hong Kong, United States of America
  • Author: Steven G. Greenbaum, David P. Hajjar
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: In a world of diverse transnational priorities across the globe, the advancement of science is seen by many countries as a solution to promote a knowledge-based economy, yet few resources are actually committed to this policy. For example, countries in the Middle East face a range of social, political, economic and security challenges that are unparalleled in the world. Many of these countries are trying to manage their economies during declining oil and gas prices which have now had a negative impact on their ability to make local investments in science and technology. Unemployment is high, political upheaval is often at the core of civil war, and the last priority of government officials is the development of science and technology expertise. Except for Israel, most Middle East nations are underperforming in science in this region of the world where only 1% of their expenditures include research and development (R&D). Science diplomats and/or health attaches have tried to assist countries in the Middle East to address the short-falls in scientific and technological program development. These efforts have been welcomed, but the results have been marginal. One way to remedy the situation is for these countries to grow their scientific communities, and this includes the encouragement of a highly under-developed workforce, viz., women and ethnic minorities. Enabling this largely neglected and under-utilized intellectual resource to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is the focus of this article.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Education, Gender Issues, Science and Technology, Women
  • Political Geography: Middle East, United States of America