Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 google plus Instagram YouTube Tuesday 6 October 2015

Chinese Scientist Wins Nobel Prize in Medicine; China Hails the Laureate with Reflection

By Luxiao Zou (People's Daily Online)    00:15, October 06, 2015

The Nobel Committee announced on October 5 that three scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering “therapies that have revolutionized the treatment of some of the most devastating parasitic diseases”. Chinese scientist Tu Youyou is among the three awarded.

This is the very first time a Chinese scientist wins the laureate of Nobel, and this is also the highest prize so far in the field of medicine in China.

Tu Youyou is to obtain half of the $920,000 award, and the other half will be evenly divided between Irish-born scientist William C. Campbell and Japanese scientist Satoshi Omura, who jointly discovered “a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites”.

Tu, 85 years old, is awarded for the discovery of Artemisinin, a drug that has significantly reduced death rates from Malaria.

China hails the laureate when news came on Monday, but not without reflection.

Without a doctor degree, without studying abroad, without membership of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Tu was jokingly called “Three-Without Scientist”. Whereas the former two “withouts” are due to the historical reasons of Cultural Revolution, being rejected by CAS as its member requires reflective thoughts.

Is it because Tu is disqualified in her research to be a CAS member? Apparently not.

Tu is a typical lab scientist who is socially awkward. She is frank about her disapprovals and disinclined towards bootlicking. If such characteristics cannot fully account for her being rejected by CAS, they can at least say something about her integrity as a scientist.

As “the highest academic title in science and technology funded by the nation”, membership of CAS is the weathervane of the scientific field. It is not the Shakespearian question of “What’s in a name”, but the question of authority and respectfulness of CAS, and the question of justifiably assessing the passion and achievements of our scientists. In a more worldly sense, it is about the fund and thus the direction in which the smartest brains of our nation dedicate.

A scientist who is not institutionally admitted wins the highest international acknowledgement. It is high time we reconsider our standards and procedure of granting membership of CAS. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:任建民,Bianji)

Add your comment

We Recommend

Most Viewed


Key Words