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Where there is a will, there is a way.

 
 
 

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年过半百,经历坎坷.少年遇"文革",下乡八载,虽历经磨难,唯斗志不减,农耕间隙自学不辍,终守得云开日出,考进大学.大学毕业后先后经历了中学执教,国企管理,外企高管,最后回归重执教鞭.目前在家精心培养有志掌握英语的中小学生. 我最大的愿望就是看到孩子学有所成,桃李天下.

我新发表的文章《“科研”腐败亵渎人类信仰》  

2013-10-28 09:45:10|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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前言:没有阳光,任何东西都会腐败。离开监督、透明,科学家和教授也会是锱铢必贪的小人。中国许多大专院校和科研单位已经成了贪腐的重灾区,原因就是“科研”这个神圣的字眼让普通民众对科研人员充满敬意,少了警惕,少了监督,因此让少数专业不学无术但贪婪却诡计多端的伪科学家有了发财机会。科学的殿堂已经被铜臭玷污了。清除科研界的腐败更迫切,更重要,否则,一个国家哪有希望?

Graft in science defiles human faith

 

Wu Guangqiang

WHAT words do people conjure up when asked to describe a scientist or a professor? Most likely terms such as “observant,” “clever,” “creative,” “diligent” and “knowledgeable” come to mind. Few would associate such a venerable person with corruption and deception, features that normally belong to the lowest of officials. Unfortunately, the sacred temple of science has been defiled by the stink of money and some scientists have become greedy merchants using science as just a money-making operation.

On Oct. 11, Wan Gang, China’s science and technology minister, expressed his “anger,” “distress” and “astonishment” over grave issues in the Chinese science community, including corruption, cheating, misuse and waste of grants and low efficiency in scientific research.

According to a survey by the China Association for Science and Technology, only 40 percent of the total funds earmarked for scientific research have been properly allocated, with the rest dissipated to items unrelated to research. According to public data, China’s total research funding surpassed 1 trillion yuan (US$163.7 billion) for the first time last year. That means about 400 billion yuan might have been misused in the name of scientific research in 2012 alone.

The State Auditing Administration’s 2011 Audit Report found irregularities in 99 major national scientific research projects sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2010, ranging from diverting research funds to nonresearch purposes to unauthorized transfer of research grants.

 The root of corruption in science is the same as that in officialdom: a lack of scrutiny and invalid management. Probably due to public trust in the integrity and professionalism of scientists and professors, there has been scant legislation and regulation overseeing the processes of scientific research, such as with bidding invitations, screening, assessment and approval of research tasks, and the supervision and auditing of funds. There are loopholes everywhere.

Therefore, some of those with access to research funding have made free with the windfall, paying for everything conceivable except science: paychecks, benefits, office overhead, travel expenses, sightseeing, entertainment, car purchases, and more.

Worst of all, huge amounts of public money found their way into personal pockets. Duan Zhenhao, a former candidate member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was sentenced to 13 years in prison on Oct. 10 for using fake invoices to reimburse more than 1 million yuan in research funds. Last month, Li Xinghua, former director of the Guangdong Provincial Department of Science and Technology, was removed from his post for abuse of research funds. Duan was discovered to have used the stolen money to keep mistresses and raise an illegitimate daughter.

 Ironically, some creativity-lacking “scientists” displayed plenty of innovation in coveting public funds. In many universities, professors annually submit one or more proposed research items for approval. Once approved, a certain amount of research funding will be granted and the money usually is at the disposal of the professor in charge of the project. Some voracious professors simply treat the funds as their own personal accounts. Slack approval procedure and loose supervision encourage some professors to submit bogus projects for swindling money.

In some schools, a chain of interests has formed among professors and their cronies both on and off campus. Some sharp-nosed parasites seized the chance to make a killing. A female accountant at a renowned Beijing-based university, identified by prosecutors as alias Zhao Jing, embezzled over 970,000 yuan in the duration of nine years. In the beginning she just inserted a few of her own invoices with petty sums into professors’ invoices for reimbursement. The sums gradually grew from dozens of yuan, to hundreds, thousands and finally to tens of thousands, without hiccups. To facilitate her theft, she even faked signatures and stamps of her superiors. Even when some professors went abroad, leaving behind some unfinished funds, she simply pocketed all this money without trouble.

 Tolerance of corruption in science amounts to destruction of human belief in the truth, as scientists are supposed to be guardians of the truth. The simple fact that sunshine is the best disinfectant drives home to us that even scientists and professors need transparency and supervision in their research. In this sense, reigning in corruption in science is a matter of extreme urgency and significance.

 

(The author is an English tutor and a freelance writer.)

 

 

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