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World news roundup: 24-30 July

Image: Brian A Jackson, via Shutterstock

The latest in global research policy and funding

In depth: Despite a global surge of interest in coronaviruses following the discovery of Covid-19 in China, collaborative networks studying these pathogens appear to have shrunk during the pandemic—with a concerning drop in the participation of developing nations.

Full story: Pandemic shrinks coronavirus collaborations


China plans to tackle research integrity issues

China’s Ministry of Science and Technology will require Chinese research institutes and universities to take more responsibility for research integrity under plans published on 29 July. The ministry says research-performing groups need to “establish and strictly implement” a data collection system to ensure the timeliness and accuracy of their work. In cases of suspected foul play, investigation results will have to be submitted to the local provincial science and technology administrative department.

Covid-19 Law Lab to launch

The World Health Organization has launched an initiative to share legal documents on Covid-19 from more than 190 countries around the world. The effort is intended to help states create and put in place strong legal frameworks for pandemic management. It also aims to prevent the poor design and enforcement of laws, which can harm marginalised groups and cause further discrimination, the WHO said on 22 July.

Academic moved to ‘notorious’ Iranian prison

Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who has been imprisoned in Iran since 2018, has been moved to the “notoriously inhumane” Gharchak Prison, according to the Center for Human Rights in Iran. In a 28 July statement CHRI executive director Hadi Ghaemi decried the moving of the academic as “complete contempt for the law”. A Middle East scholar, Moore-Gilbert holds a degree from Cambridge University and was arrested on espionage charges while visiting the country for an academic conference.

China’s research to be ‘relatively unaffected’ by pandemic

Information communications technology and scientific research in China should be “relatively unaffected” by the fallout from Covid-19, according to a 29 July report from the World Bank. Despite a sharply slowing economy, the country has opportunities for green and sustainable growth, authors said. Research is also a cornerstone of the Healthy China 2030 plan, which is meant to help safeguard it as the country recovers from Covid-19.