Berggruen China Center

Breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and life science have led to the fourth scientific and technological revolution. The Berggruen China Center is a hub for East-West research and dialogue dedicated to the cross-cultural and interdisciplinary study of the transformations affecting humanity. Intellectual themes for researchers and visiting scholars focus on frontier technologies and society—specifically in artificial intelligence, the microbiome, and gene editing as well as issues involving global governance and globalization.

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  • Our Research

    2020 Annual Report

    In spite of the difficulties brought by the coronavirus, the Berggruen China Center has witnessed continued growth in its second year. In November 2020, the Academic Advisory Council received a detailed working report on the Center’s research initiatives, online conferences, recent publications, and continuing projects, the Berggruen Seminar series, staff appointments, and continuing community service initiatives related to the pandemic. Of particular note is the effort being made to extend the reach and influence of the Center’s initiatives by joining public platforms that serve the academic and research communities.

    Berggruen Research Center, Peking University

    Launched by the President of Peking University and the Chairman of the Berggruen Institute on December 19th, 2018, the Center engages China’s most outstanding thinkers to examine, share, and develop ideas to address global challenges. The Berggruen Institute has committed $25.5 million to establish the Center, which includes a fellowship program, and houses program activities such as lectures and symposia alongside a host of other public events. The Center is located at Peking University.

  • Programs

    Frontier Technologies and Society

    The program brings together Chinese philosophers, scientists in artificial intelligence, robotics and life sciences, legal scholars as well as science fiction writers and artists to explore ways frontier technologies impact and reshape how we view humanity, the nature of life and examine their impact on human society and our relationships with machines and other beings.

    Digital Governance

    Big data and algorithms are changing the ways governments manage their social and economic programs, and these changes may take different forms in different social, political, and cultural environments. We engage with scholars from sociology, philosophy, law, and social sciences who do research on trust, credit systems, and public policy to examine the divergence and convergence of future governance systems in a digital age.

    Globalization and Geopolitics

    Today’s dominant intellectual framework of international affairs is shaped by realism and power politics. Notions of nation-state, national interest, zero-sum competition, and big power rivalry underlie these debates and inform policymaking. While these notions are helpful in analyzing the power balance of international affairs, they are inadequate in helping us understand the deeper motivations and aspirations driving, directing, and shaping policy making. A closer look at embedded values, philosophical traditions and historical experiences will promote deep cross-cultural understanding and allow building strategic trust among the world’s great powers.

    Berggruen Seminar Series in China

    The Berggruen Seminar series is a public engagement initiative that started in 2019. Topics of the series cover “AI and Society,” “Biotech and Ethics,” and “Transculture”. By the end of 2020, the Center has held 13 Berggruen seminars, with more than 30,000 people engaged in conversations with experts online and offline.

    Because of the pandemic, the series was moved online in July 2020 and is live streamed on Bilibili. Recorded videos are available on Berggruen Institute’s YouTube channel.

    Global Thinkers Series

    In a global pandemic, cross-cultural communication is more important than ever. Working with independent media outlet Caixin, we started the Global Thinkers series and invited Professor Jared Diamond as its first speaker. The series is set to enter 2021 with an impressive lineup of global thinkers.