But the officials and professors who conceived this "scheme" are likely products of the educational system that generated the problem they are trying to solve. They are ambitious. They are confident. They want to push China forward. But worries about China's research environment, hardly known for fostering independent thinking and openness, may overshadow lucrative salary offers.
"Money is important for practical issues," said Zhangqing Li, a University of Maryland professor, to Nature.com in January. "But the determinant factor is whether we would be able to be as productive in China as the United States."