A case for the public to decide

Updated: 2012-02-01 08:01

(China Daily)

  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Fang Zhouzi, the "science cop" known for exposing pseudoscience and academic fraud, is facing a lawsuit from popular Chinese writer Han Han for "accusing that Han's works were in fact ghostwritten". Han alleges that the accusation has soiled his reputation, says an article in Changjiang Daily. Excerpts:

Han needs evidence to prove what he says is right. One the other hand, Fang's analysis and criticism will attract more attention because of his procedure. So a more comprehensive exchange between the two could reveal the facts.

Since a public topic could influence not only the image and reputation of the parties involved but also public interests, there is need for public questioning and discussion. But first we should figure out what the bottom line of the public discussion is - whether certain remarks are acceptable or have the potential to cause negative effects. Only by making the facts public can we ensure that opinions and comments are impartial.

Besides, in any open public discussion, the public is both the onlooker and the participant. The public should decide whose attitude could directly influence the quality of the discussion and mood of the parties involved. If public opinion is impulsive, it will blur the focus and eventually make the discussion superficial.

The proper atmosphere for digging out the truth can be created only if the public exercises calm and sees things rationally. And only then can the discussion develop normally and according to common rules.

This is specifically what we should learn from this lawsuit.

(China Daily 02/01/2012 page9)