BEIJING, Aug. 17 (Xinhuanet) -- If academic
corruption in China can not be curbed, scientific and technological development
in the country will be delayed by 20 years, world-known mathematician Shing-Tung
Yau warned recently.
Yau, who is the only Chinese
American winner of the Fields Medal, lashed out at rampant plagiarism in Chinese
academia in an interview by a Beijing newspaper.
research quality and curbing violations of academic ethics is critical, he said.
Shing-Tung Yau (File
Yau, a professor at Harvard University, has many
contacts with Chinese students and researchers and pays close attention to the
training of mathematicians in China.
He said the papers of some members of China's Academy
of Sciences are not even up to the level of Harvard undergraduates.
Many professors in Chinese universities prize the
quantity of papers, while neglecting significant research. They even restrict
talented students from conducting independent research by demanding their
assistance in writing their own articles, said Yau.
Breakthroughs and creativity also often attract
jealousy and discrimination, said Yau.
He mentioned that a Chinese student of his at Harvard
plagiarized another professor's article. Yet when the student went back to
China, he became a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and was put in
charge of a science foundation. His salary was became 20 times that of other
young researchers though his true expertise was far inferior.
Yau said China's mathematical research was close to
the top level in the world before the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, when
much of academia was purged in the campaign for ideological purity.
With the rapid economic development in today's China,
better achievements should be made by academia, he said.
"Chinese students are talented. They can have great
achievement if led by good teachers and doing research in a healthy academic
environment," he said.
Plagiarism is one of the chronic illnesses in Chinese
academia. Several such cases of it involving recognized scholars have been
uncovered in recent years.
Some experts blame an imperfect Chinese academic
evaluation system, which puts excessive emphasis on how many books a scholar
writes and how many papers he publishes, as the root cause of academic
China made an effort to fight academic corruption
last year, though its effectiveness remains to be seen. The Ministry of
Education issued new criteria in 2004 for publication in philosophy and the
Regarded as the first "constitution" in Chinese
academia, the regulations forbid plagiarism, encourage high-level research and
require academics to shoulder legal responsibilities. Enditem