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Chinese scientist urge to check academic corruption
( 2003-09-15 10:01) (Xinhua)

A senior Chinese scientist called for efforts to fight against academic corruption and to vindicate the honor of Chinese scientists Sunday at an annual conference of the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST).

Zou Chenglu, 80, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the top research body of natural sciences in China, said that violations against science ethics could be in different forms, but they are all driven by attempts of reaping without sowing, or getting more reward than one actually pays.

He listed the violations as forging one's education background or working experience, plagiarism, distorting original experiment data, sending contributions to more than one publisher, affixing one's name to research papers that he or she makes no contributions whatsoever, and making false commercial advertisements, among others.

Zou, a renowned biochemist, said that some research fellows arecheating people in the name of science, giving an example of converting water into gas, a "legend" which once was widely spread in China a few years ago but later was proved absurd.

Some scientific societies are making commercial ads. But in fact, few societies can comprehensively validate a certain production.

"I suggest that CAST ban all its affiliated societies to get involved in ads so as not to mislead people," said Zou.

The topic of academic ethics has sparked heated discussion in recent years. CAS has instituted self-ruled norms for academicians to clean up academic corruption. The Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) has also begun to receive complaints against and supervision over its academicians from the public.

Zou said that those who violate science ethics should be punished and even be dismissed.

Over 4,000 scientific staff, including 100-plus CAS and CAE academicians, attended the 2003 CAST annual meeting in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province. The meeting was scheduled on September 13-16.

The discussion will focus on topics including modern medicine, China's strategy on natural resources, forestry in urban areas, bio-diversity higher education, the steel industry and how to vitalize northeast China's heavy industrial base in one main forumand 40 sub-forums.

CAST, formed in 1958, now has some 180 national scientific societies, 31 provincial associations of science and technology, and extensive grassroots organizations. It is the biggest non-governmental organization of its kind in China.

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