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David Zweig

One of the key centers seeking returnee scientists has been the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). This chapter looks at the policies introduced in China to attract scientists trained abroad to return to work in CAS, China’s preeminent scientific institution, as well as the problems that have confronted that effort. Based on surveys in various institutes under CAS with both returnees and locally trained scientists, this chapter highlights the importance of bringing back technology that is in short supply in China, the importance of the research environment within the institutions, and the rewards given to returnees who decide to come home. Using a multiple regression model, it shows that whether or not people have studied abroad, the perceived quality of their housing, interpersonal relations in the research institute, and the ability of people to develop their talents are important factors determining people’s job satisfaction. It also demonstrates a bias towards returnees among the locally trained scientists, as well as the directors of some research institutes. Finally, using a data set of returnees under various national talent programs, it shows that, in terms of the quality of their publications, returnees to CAS are publishing fewer high quality journal articles than returnees to the universities.