Friday, June 25, 2010

Science Journalist Attacked in Beijing

Fang Xuanchang (方玄昌), editor and science reporter of the Chinese magazine Caijing, was brutally attacked on the night of June 24. On his way home close to midnight, two men with steel rods hit him on the back and head and continued to beat him up with a clear intention to murder. Fang Xuanchang fought back and managed to escape. He was later treated in hospital and released with serious, but not life-threatening injuries.

Fang Xuanchang has recently worked in newspapers China News Weekly and Science News, where he had authored many reports criticizing corruption and forgery in China's academia and society. He has also been very active in the efforts exposing scientific fraud, collaborating with Fang Zhouzi (no relation).

Police in Beijing has launched an investigation. Fang Xuanchang thinks that the attack is likely motivated as a revenge to his work as a reporter, although he also does not rule out the possibility of an attack due to mistaken identity.