Friday, January 23, 2009

OSAIC Concludes Book Donation Drive

OSAIC has recently concluded the book donation drive. 4,340 copies of Fang Zhouzi's best-seller Achieving Health Scientifically were sent to 418 public libraries throughout China, many of them in rural areas.

The book donation drive was sponsored by OSAIC in conjunction with Fang Zhouzi and his book publisher in Beijing.

Monday, January 19, 2009

1,000 Cheaters in State Exams

The national civil service entrance exam is instituted in China for the selection of civil servants working for the government. In recent years, civil servant have become a very attractive job for its stability, salary, and generous pension and benefits, especially in the time of economic downturn and uncertainly. The exam is therefore becoming ultra-competitive.

The official China Daily announced that about a thousand cheaters have been busted in recent exams in Liaoning Province and Beijing. The cheaters wore wireless mini earplugs to receive transmitted information and/or bought standard answers from outside companies.

"Cheaters' names and identification card numbers will be put into a database to serve as a recruiting reference for central and local governments," reported China Daily.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rao Yi Speaks Out on Shi Yigong's Grant Application

While the official media kept silent on the controversy of Shi Yigong's grant application yet hailing him as the new patriotic hero, Professor Rao Yi offered his personal views on the controversy. In fact, Rao Yi blamed the deafening silence of the grant authority as being unfair to Shi Yigong.

Rao Yi asserts that only the grant authority has the right to interpret its own rules and its applicability to Shi Yigong's application. From his own personal contacts, he learned that the committee in charge of the grants had conducted a thorough investigation after Fang Zhouzi's accusation. Both Shi Yigong and his Tsinghua University had been truthful and forthcoming on his job status throughout the investigation. The committee took votes on the issue and concluded that Shi Yigong was qualified for the grant even when his case apparently violated the rule on the letters.

The committee appeared to think that there is no need to offer any explanation for its decision either to the accuser or the public. Rao Yi disagreed. He felt the need to publish what he knew so that Shi Yigong would not be unfairly blamed for knowingly violating a rule.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Shi Yigong Becomes a Media Star in China

A few days into the new year, a media blitz unfolded in China in praise of Tsinghua Professor Shi Yigong. It involves the official Xinhua News Agency, CCTV, People's Daily, Guangming Daily, and Economics Daily, i.e., all the heavy weights under the direct control of the central government. The Economics Daily cited Shi Yigong's claim that "Returning home country to work, I feel my career has more meaning". Guangming Daily listed three personal goals from Shi Yigong himself. People's Daily priasied Shi Yigong as the model for all returning oversea Chinese scholars. The syndicated media campaign for a scientist is quite unusual. It looks like Shi Yigong is being molded into the new patriotic hero of China.

None of the media reports mentioned the controvercy of Shi Yigong's grant application and subsequet approval. With all the praise for his patriotism, they did not bother to point out that Shi Yigong is, in fact, an American citizen.

What they did mention, however, was the fact that Shi Yigong has been a recipent of the Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award, billed as "one of the most prestigous awards in biology". In reality, the award is a common one aimed for young scientists.