What Went Wrong? -- The losing battle of Confucian doctrine against cheating in science
May 12, 2006 was a dark date for the science world in China and South
Korea. Two scientists from two top universities, both once hailed as
national heroes for their world-famous "scientific breakthroughs," made world headlines again, but for the wrong reason. South Korea's Hwang Woo Suk was indicted and China's Chen Jin was sacked for fabricating research results. These cases are not alone. Scandals have run rampant in top universities recently in both countries.
Both countries have long culture tradition of Confucianism, which highly respects intellectuals for their honest pursuit of knowledge and despites unethical conducts/behaviors common in the business sector. What has gone wrong? Is the 5,000-year old Confucian culture losing its influence in these countries, which have seen rapid economic growth in recent years? Is Confucian doctrine still applicable in modern business-oriented world? Before their disgraceful fall, both Hwang and Chen were strongly endorsed by their governments and received generous government fund. What has happened to the academic governance?
We will exam the growing gap between the traditional culture and modern trend of eager for quick success and overnight fame in the two countries. We will also explore the possible causes of such unethical conducts and discuss possible counter-measures so as to reinstall the public's faith in scientists.