Stricter measures taken to ensure fairness for China's top science award

09:02, June 12, 2011      

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China has taken stricter measures to make sure that the ongoing selection of national science and technology award recipients is conducted in a "clean and fair" way.

Zou Dating, director of the National Office for Science &Technology Awards, said on Saturday that one of the office's priorities is to prevent the names of the judges sitting on the national award evaluation board from leaking.

This year, judges will hand in their cell phones for safekeeping during the evaluation process, and cell phone signals will be blocked in the judges' meeting rooms.

In addition, judges will be required to report to duty within 5 days of being summoned. Previous regulations required judges to report within 10 days.

Judges will also be required to register with a "code name" instead of their real name when they report to duty. Judges and other members of the award selection committee will use these code names to evaluate each others' performances.

Zou said that these methods prevent prospective candidates from finding out who the judges are. He said that this year's evaluation meetings have been much quieter, as no one has been making or receiving phone calls during the meetings.

The National Science and Technology Award, established in 2000 by the State Council, or China's cabinet, is divided into five categories, including an award for international science and technology cooperation and an award for technological innovation.

The selection process for the recipients of these awards consists of nominations, evaluations and a final approval from the Ministry of Science and Technology and the State Council.

Preliminary evaluations are currently under way. During this phase of the process, candidates must present their scientific achievements to judges and defend their work during online debate sessions.

Source: Xinhua
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