The plagiarism row refuses to die down for troubled doctor Wang Zhengmin after China Central Television reported yesterday that four academicians from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have asked the academy to expel him from the elite body.
The four were among the seven academicians who recommended Wang to CAS in 2005.
Professor Wang, 79, a hearing expert at Fudan University’s Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital, was accused by his former student Wang Yucheng, 45, who is also a doctor at the hospital, of plagiarizing foreign technology and work to secure 40 million yuan (US$6.6 million) of government funds and exaggerating the number of theses he had written.
In a joint letter to CAS, the four academicians listed evidence of Wang’s academic dishonesty which included exaggerating the number of theses he had written and mixing essays which did not fall into the theses category in his submissions for the title of academician.
The four said they made a mistake in nominating Wang and failing to examine Wang carefully.
“We only checked the recommended materials and did not think twice after Fudan University and a senior scientist recommended Wang,” said Liu Xinyuan, one of the academicians. “We cannot have such people in CAS as even a small flaw is not allowed in the theses of academicians, not to mention dishonest deeds.”
CAS said it was investigating the charges against Wang.
CCTV also reported that one of Wang’s key team member in the artificial cochlea project which won a national patent in 2003 said 65 percent of their technology were borrowed from overseas.
Wang Zhengmin had admitted he copied the chip circuit diagram in an interview aired by CCTV earlier. He claimed he drew inspiration from the exterior design of two Australian artificial cochlea products, while the interior components were all original.
In November, Wang Yucheng told the CAS that his professor had earned plaudits through dishonest means. He said the professor plagiarized foreign technologies to make artificial cochlea and obtained a patent in 2003. But it was never put into production as it performed poorly in clinical experiments.
Wang Yucheng also accused the professor of plagiarizing the work of Ugo Fisch, a professor at University of Zurich. He said about 200 pictures in Wang Zhengmin’s first book were copied from Fisch’s work for which no credit was given to him.