Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hijacking The Albert Einstein Award

A couple of weeks ago, a netter reported on New Thread that a suspiciously large number of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners are claiming themselves to be recipients of an "Albert Einstein World Award of Science". Indeed, a simple google search on the "Albert Einstein World Award of Science" in Chinese ("阿尔伯特·爱因斯坦世界科学奖") yielded many such claims:

1985: Zhu Renkan (朱仁康)
1987: Liu QiuFang (刘猷枋)
1987: Tu Youyou (屠呦呦)
1988: Yu Guiqing (余桂清)
1988: Tang Youzhi (唐由之)
1989: Xie Zongwan (谢宗万)
1989: Chen Keji (陈可冀)
1990: Cheng Xinnong (程莘农)

Among them, Chen Keji and Cheng Xinnong are academicians in the Chinese Academy of Science and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, respectively. There are also indications that more people had received this award, all of whom are TCM practioners in the Academy of TCM.

The Albert Einstein World Award of Science is a prestigous award given out annually by The World Cultural Council headquartered in Mexico. A list of its recipents are available on their web site. None of the above names existed.

Fang Zhouzi recently wrote to the World Cultural Council for an inquiry, and received the following reply from its General Secretary, which he posted on New Thread:

(Certainly, there is a misunderstanding regarding this situation. I have already checked, all these people were candidates nominated for the Albert Einstein Award in the respective mentioned years. But none of them got the Award.

I have checked our records and found that, the Council has sent them by post mail in those days, a diploma recognizing their participation as candidates to the Albert Einstein Award in the respective years. I would like to inform you that the winners must receive the Award in person at the Award Ceremony, the Award consist of a Medal a diploma and a cheque.)

Apparently, these distinguished TCM practitioners, including our Academicians, had mistaken a receipt of acknowledgment as an actual award, never mind that they had never received any medal or check.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

But the Chinese Academy of Sciences gives an award they call "Chair Professor in Albert Einstein" which may be a source of confusion.