University of Nottingham Ningbo China
School of
Contemporary Chinese Studies
  • Intranet

Cong Cao

Professor of Chinese Studies, Head of School of Contemporary Chinese Studies , Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, UNNC


PHD (Sociology, Columbia University)


  • Room SSB315, Student Services Building
    The University of Nottingham Ningbo China
    199 Taikang East Road
    Ningbo 315100  
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Dr. Cong Cao (Ph.D. in Sociology, Columbia University) is Professor at the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, University of Nottingham Ningbo China. Educated in both China and the U.S. and in both the natural and social sciences, he has worked at the University of Oregon, the National University of Singapore, the State University of New York, and the University of Nottingham.

As one of the prolific scholars in the social studies of science, technology, and innovation in China, Dr. Cao is the author of China’s Scientific Elite (London and New York: RoutledgeCurzon, hardcover 2004; paperback, 2012), a study of those Chinese scientists holding the elite membership in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and China’s Emerging Technological Edge: Assessing the Role of High-End Talent (with Denis Fred Simon, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, hardcover and paperback 2009), the first in forty years to address these critical issues surrounding the quality, quantity, and effective utilization of China's human resources in science and technology.

He has two books forthcoming – Genetically Modified China (under contract with Columbia University Press), and Innovation and China’s Evolving Role in the Global Science and Technology System (with Richard Appelbaum, Rachel Parker, and Denis Fred Simon, under contract with Polity).

His research has been supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, European Union, the National Science Foundation of China, China National Planning Office of Philosophy and Social Sciences, IBM, and other organizations.

Selected recent publications

Cong Cao, Ning Li, Xia Li, and Li Liu. 2013. “Reforming China’s S&T System.” Science 341 (2 August):460−462.
Cong Cao. 2014. “The Universal Value of Science and China’s Nobel Prize Pursuit.Minerva 52:141−160.
Yutao Sun and Cong Cao. 2014. “Demystifying Central Government R&D Expenditure in China.” Science 345 (29 August):1006−1008.

Research interests

Sociology of Science/Science, Technology and Society/Social Studies of Science and Technology; Science, Technology, and Innovation; China Studies; Technological Entrepreneurship; Talent Migration; Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods; Media Studies.


Globalisation and Innovation in China