Editor's Desk
By Eric Pooley/Managing Editor

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Later this month at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, FORTUNE convenes its ninth Global Forum--a remarkable gathering of CEOs, heads of state, and thinkers who will train their minds on a signature topic of our time: China's rapidly evolving, enormously unpredictable role in the world. FORTUNE's international editions are devoting 16 pages to the topic; the revelatory heart of that package, Asia editor Clay Chandler's inside look at how China's best business school is rewiring (and Westernizing) the country's economic elite, appears in the U.S. edition as well. So do author Daniel Yergin's expert consideration of how China's thirst for oil is butting up against global politics and editor-at-large Geoffrey Colvin's stern wake-up call to all those Americans who so like to whine about the China trade threat. "America's trade deficit hit an all-time record last year," writes Geoff. "But we're running a massive trade surplus in nonsense." There'll be plenty more of that kind of straight talk in Beijing--and a dispatch from the conference in a future issue.

Thirty-four years before Harvard's Larry Summers got into trouble for musing about innate differences between men and women, Tom Alexander tackled the subject in these pages. "'Nature vs. nurture' is the wrong formulation," he wrote, preferring the "complex interaction" between the two. In his decades as a FORTUNE writer and editor, Tom instructed us about everything from the Apollo moon shot (in 1963, six years before it happened) to his own prostate cancer (in 1993). He died of a neurological disorder last month. But we're still learning from him.