CHINA / National

Code set to safeguard academic ethics
By Yu Zhong (China Daliy)
Updated: 2006-05-25 06:55

A professional code of conduct for scientists is set to be issued, together with a system for archiving good faith records, in a drive to safeguard academic ethics.

The new code was announced Wednesday by Zhou Guangzhao, president of the Chinese Association of Science and Technology (CAST), at the organization's ongoing seventh national conference.

The code will apply to CAST's more than 4 million members.

Li Yiyi, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was quoted by the Xinhua News Agency as saying it will "help scientists whose research is plagiarized to safeguard their interests."

CAST has also outlined a system for keeping checks on academic fraudulence, but the details will not be revealed until a wider discussion has been held, said Zhou.

After the disclosure of several academic scandals in recent months CAST, China's largest science organization, has moved to strengthen self-discipline in the science community.

The move comes after a professor with Shanghai Jiaotong University was found to have falsely claimed government funds for a fabricated research programme about microchips earlier this month.

That scandal followed the sacking of a professor from Tsinghua University, who was found to have submitted a deceptive job application.

In March more than 100 social scientists signed a public letter announcing their determination to fight academic fraudulence.

CAST kicked off its national congress in Beijing on Tuesday with a visit from China's top leaders Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao and Zeng Qinghong.

More than 1,200 delegates from throughout the country have taken part in the congress. They will review the work report submitted by the sixth national committee of the association and CAST's first constitution, and advise on building an innovation-intensive economy in China.

Promoting new technologies in rural areas and popularizing science are highlights of the organization's future tasks.

Xu Shanyan, deputy secretary-general of the congress, said CAST will make better use of its widespread grassroots membership to accomplish its goals.

During the next five years, the organization will encourage every province to set up a science and technology museum of its own. It will also try to lay out a compendium on science education for rural people.

Yang Xingfen, a member of the Guangdong Association of Science and Technology, said CAST should attach more importance to popularizing science among officials, some of whom have "mislead the public with their ignorance."

Established in 1958 CAST has a total of 164 nationwide societies .