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World news roundup: 10-16 July

Image: Brian A Jackson, via Shutterstock

The latest news in global research policy and funding

In depth: Amid continuing deterioration of relations between China and the United States, the Trump administration has said it will “take steps to terminate the Fulbright exchange program with regard to China and Hong Kong”.

Full story: US to end Fulbright exchanges with China and Hong Kong


China tells universities to help poor graduates find jobs

China has issued a notice requiring higher education institutions in poor areas to aid graduates in finding jobs. Issued by the ministry of education on 16 July, the notice requires colleges and universities in 52 counties to put in place “employment promotion” measures such as giving poor students preference in research assistant positions. The counties are home to 45,000 graduates in 2020 from poverty-stricken families.

Report highlights areas for Covid-19 research focus

Global health groups have called for more focus on vulnerable populations such as refugees, children and pregnant women in research on Covid-19. A report on 15 July from the Global Health Network, the African Academy of Sciences and the UK Collaborative on Development Research also calls for more studies measuring the effectiveness of public health measures put in place to reduce virus transmission and a greater emphasis on efforts in poorer countries. More than 3,000 healthcare workers and researchers contributed to the priority-setting exercise.

WIPO makes plans for AI intellectual property

The World Intellectual Property Organization’s director-general Francis Gurry says the group is making progress on plans for how to deal with intellectual property around artificial intelligence. After the group’s second virtual meeting on the subject, Gurry said on 9 July that it was beginning to choose priorities from the “many issues” but that there was a broad consensus that an international route was the way forward. Among the issues on the meeting’s agenda were how patents should apply to inventions made by AI.