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Reforming the 'China Initiative'
Reforming the 'China Initiative'

Reforming the 'China Initiative'

58 min
Report
A scheme in the US designed to prevent industrial espionage and the theft of intellectual property, is to be refocused after it was accused of unfairly targeting Chinese American scientists. We speak to Gang Chen, a professor from MIT who was falsely accused of financial crimes, and Holden Thorp Editor in Chief of the Journal Science who tells us why the ‘China Initiative’ is at odds with the reality of international scientific collaboration. And a huge study of farmed animals in China, from raccoon dogs to porcupines and Asian badgers, reveals that they carry a wide range of pathogens, including forms of avian flu and coronaviruses. Virologist Eddie Holmes from the University of Sydney, who was involved in the analysis, says these viruses may have the potential to jump species and infect humans – possibly leading to another pandemic. Controlling fire was a turning point in the development of human civilisation. But how did fire become part of the human toolkit? It’s a question that has got Crowdscience listener Joseph wondering. He wants to know how humans first made fire and how that knowledge spread around the world, eventually developing into our industrial civilisations today. Archaeologists have many different ideas and theories about this. Did humans learn the skill millions of years ago, and carry it with them as they migrated out of what is now Africa? Or was it a skill developed much later, after different groups had settled in different locations? Did people share the skill with each other or did different groups of people discover it individually? Marnie Chesterton speaks to experts to try to piece together the archaeological clues to discover what kindled humankind's relationship with fire and flame. She hears about the early evidence of fire from Anand Jagatia, who visits Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa, and she speaks to an archaeologist who has found remains of burned flint suggesting campfire locations dating back hundreds of thousands of years in Israel. Marnie also tries her hand at making fire, Neanderthal style. (Image: Students. Credit: Getty Images)

Reforming the 'China Initiative'

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