M-RCBG Senior Fellow-Led Study Group: Jo Johnson

Global Science Collaborations: Promise and Politics 

Friday, April 22, 12:00pm 
This online study  group is open to those with a Harvard.edu email address.  Register HERE.

This study group will explore the future of open scientific collaboration in an age of de-globalisation. China is set to overtake the US to become the world’s biggest spender on R&D and has been investing in science collaboration with key partners overseas, but past patterns of internationalisation of scientific enquiry may not continue in the future. Russian science has been cut off from collaborating with much of the West this year, in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine. There is a growing possibility that a combination of hardening geopolitics and further Chinese 'intellectual decoupling' will lead to a slowdown in the cross-border collaboration that has characterised recent decades. The group will hear from serving UK Science Minister Rt Hon George Freeman, as well as from the co-authors of two recent M-RCBG studies focusing on international collaboration between China, India and the United Kingdom: Natural partners: Building a comprehensive UK-India knowledge partnership & The China question: Managing risks and maximizing benefits from partnership in higher education and research.


  • Rt Hon George Freeman, MP, UK Minister for Science
  • Rt Hon Jo Johnson, Senior Fellow M-RCBG and President's Professorial Fellow at King's College London, & Former UK Minister of State for Universities & Science.
  • Jonathan Adams, Chief Scientist at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate.
  • Janet Ilieva, Founder and Director of Education Insight.
  • Jonathan Grant. Founding Director, Different Angles.

Jo Johnson head Shot blue glassesRt Hon Jo Johnson is a President’s Professorial Fellow at King’s College London and Chairman of TES Group, owner of the Times Educational Supplement and a leading peer-to-peer marketplace for teacher resources, recruitment and software services. A Member of Parliament between 2010-2019, Jo represented the south-east London constituency of Orpington for the Conservative Party. Over this period, he more than quadrupled his majority and, in 2017, secured the highest vote share (63%) in more than sixty years. He served as a senior Government Minister under three successive Prime Ministers, including as Head of the No10 Downing Street Policy Unit and Minister of State in the Cabinet Office; Minister of State for Transport; Minister for London; and Minister of State, attending Cabinet, for Universities, Science & Innovation. He introduced the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, a major piece of legislation which created a new regulator, the Office for Students, and established a mechanism (the Teaching Excellence Framework) to make universities more accountable for teaching quality and student outcomes. The Act also created a national strategic research agency, UK Research and Innovation. Before entering Parliament, he was an award-winning journalist at the Financial Times, where over 13 years he reported from over 20 countries in various senior roles, including Contributing Editor, Associate Editor, Head of the Lex Column, South Asia Bureau Chief and Paris Correspondent. Co-author of The Man who Tried to Buy the World (Penguin, 2003) and co-editor of Reconnecting Britain and India: Ideas for an Enhanced Partnership (Academic Foundation, 2011), he has a first class degree from Oxford University in Modern History and an MBA from INSEAD. He is a life member of the Privy Council; a Governor of the Ditchley Foundation; and a Member of the European Council on Foreign Relations. He is married to Guardian journalist and author Amelia Gentleman. They live in London and have two children. While at Harvard Kennedy School, Jo will pursue a research project, “Global Britain”. His faculty sponsor is Jason Furman, Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. His email is:  jojohnson@hks.harvard.edu