Saturday, July 26, 2008

Fang Zhouzi's Book Published in Taiwan

Fang Zhouzi reports that his book, Achieving Health Scientifically (科学成就健康), has now been published in Taiwan. The Taiwan edition was actually a combination of parts of his book by the same name and another book Debunking Traditional Chinese Medicine (批评中医).

In its preface, Fang Zhouzi praised that government regulatory work on food and medicine in Taiwan is superior than that in the mainland China.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

To Become an Academician, It Pays To Bribe

In 2007, Professor Chen Zhinan (陈志南) of the Fourth Military Medical University (第四军医大学) was elected as a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

It was a remarkable achievement for his university, which had wholeheartedly backed his candidacy for years. So much so, that a Commissar at the military university gave a speech, proudly appraised the efforts the school had expended on Professor Chen's behalf.

After much hyperbole and superlatives on the work they had done, the Commissar came to this critical step in the process:
Before the Spring Festival of 2007, based on our analysis of the situation in the Academician selection process and with the blessing of our superiors in the school, we organized two teams of people to go to Beijing and visit all the relevant Academicians. It was quite effective. The fact later proved that, the appropriate use of connections and gifts was not only necessary but also required [for the successful election of an Academician].
Indeed, it pays to bribe and you can be proud of doing it too!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Chinese Universities Top Feeders for American Ph. D.s

The July 11 issue of Science magazine reports that two Chinese schools, the famous Tsinghua and Peking universities, are the top feeder schools for Ph. D. degrees granted in the U. S..

The full text of the article can be read here.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Closure on the Faked Tiger Photo

When the last shoe finally dropped, it was already so uninteresting that it hardly was news-worthy any more. The pictures of the distinct South China Tiger are indeed a fake, just as people had known all along. The fact that it took so long for the authority to take action, however, is a different story entirely, as commented by CNN:

In the nine months since the first of Zhou's photos was released and posted online, it ignited debate on issues that bedevil a rapidly modernizing China -- faked goods, greed and officials' lies.

Ultimately, the scandal revealed popular disgust with government and corruption and showed that public opinion, amplified by the Internet, can occasionally win out in authoritarian China.

"In my opinion, this is the struggle between the truth and government interest," Yu Hai, a sociology professor at Fudan University, said in a phone interview this week. "Zhou's just a normal farmer who was inspired by money. The big boss behind this is, of course, the officials of Shaanxi province."

Zhou Zhenglong, the perpetrator of the scam, was arrested for fraud. More than a dozen local officials who had stood behind the story were disciplined. Some were fired.

It was one story, which showed the severity of the credibility crisis in China, that has had a happy ending.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Book Donation Has Sent Out A Thousand Books

1,161 books, to be exact. That's how many copies of Fang Zhouzi's book Achieving Health Scientifically that had been sent to local libraries all over China, through the donation drive sponsored by Fang Zhouzi and OSAIC.

The stated goal is to send out 5,000 copies. The donation drive is still active. More books can be sent as soon as funding is available.

Yanbian University Takes Quick Action on a Plagiarism Case

Almost every day, people are reporting various academic fraud cases on New Thread. While the cases receive great exposure there, it has been rare that any of them receive serious attention by the proper authorities, not to mention investigation.

So, it is nice to see that, in one small case, action has been taken quickly and swiftly. On June 19, a netter reported a plagiarism case in a Master degree thesis at Yanbian University. Barely two weeks later, the school disclosed its its findings and confirmed the practice of the plagiarism. In its official announcement, the school resolved to strip the awarded Master degree from the perpetrator. In addition, his adviser received the penalty of a three-year suspension in advising any graduate students.