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China is home to approximately 10 per cent of the world's biodiversity. But this biodiversity is being destroyed by farming and industrial developments at an alarming rate.

In this article, Chung-I Wu and colleagues argue that conservation needs a scientific basis and must attract the brightest scientists if it is to be taken seriously. For this to happen, it is essential that conservation biology is seen as a stimulating and prestigious scientific endeavour, otherwise few bright young people will enter the field.

The authors call for the creation of a national centre for ecological and evolutionary studies. This would promote the synthesis of a diverse array of biodiversity research results. It could also run workshops where ecologists and evolutionary biologists could gather, and could train the next generation of such scientists.

Link to full article in Nature

Reference: Nature 428, 213 (2004)

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