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Scientists’ creativity should not be restrained: Premier Li

Updated: Jul 14,2017 7:25 AM

Scientists should be provided with more room for creativity, said Premier Li Keqiang at the State Council executive meeting on July 12.

“We should further promote the ‘mass innovation and entrepreneurship’ initiative, not only by building makers spaces, but also by creating a coordinated and shared ecosystem,” Premier Li said at the meeting.

The concept on an ecosystem for mass innovation and entrepreneurship was recently introduced by Chen Xian, a professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, at a symposium on China’s economy. He suggested that the government should attach more importance to building a “mass innovation and entrepreneurship” ecosystem, in areas including administrative reform and public service supply.

For the government, to better facilitate innovation, the key lies in function transformation, and the reform in administrative streamlining, strengthening supervision and improving services, the Premier said at the executive meeting.

“Some scientific researchers complain to me that they want more autonomy in expenditures,” Premier Li said. “I learned about related regulations, some of which indeed lack flexibility. I think we should make a careful study on whether they conform to laws in scientific research.”

“We tend to make plans and set goals for scientific research personnel,” Premier Li said. “However, have there been any major scientific discoveries in human history that took place as scheduled? Even Newton, himself, could not make plans on discovering the law of gravity.”

People are often inspired by random chances, which is the most valuable treasure of the human mind that could never be replaced by machines, he said.

“For many theoretical, basic researches, especially those that can influence the future of human beings, the only thing the government should do is provide scientists with a more tolerant environment.”

“As we are not experts in scientific research, we must further change our way of thinking, and not restrain the creativity of scientists,” he added.

Premier Li also called for efforts in implementing an innovation-driven development strategy, further advancing the initiative on mass entrepreneurship and innovation, while encouraging scientific research personnel to innovate.

“People are the makers of history, so we should fully tap the country’s rich human resources. By relying on the internet and cloud platform, we can pool the wisdom of the public and promote national construction,” the Premier said.