Recently, interesting events kept bumping out of China. Such as the high speed train crash “accident”, or more intriguing news, like the world renowned Chinese neuro-scientist Rao Yi (Yi Rao) was rejected on the first round of Chinese national academician election, which is what I’m going to talk about.
Before further exploit the event, I like to lay out some ground facts here. First, you should know that all the things I describe here are merely bunch of speculations base on the open documents on the internet. I will lay out the inferential details as many as I can, you may interpret them with your own discretion. Secondly, the source links in the following content are mostly written in Chinese, but they are mainly for serious people who want to be more exact toward my briefs, you can ignore them and still enjoy your reading. Thirdly, It might help if you first read my another article titled as “A Perfect Conspiracy Movie Material About Mainland China” or “Ever wonder why communist preserved in China”. And the last, you should know that Chinese real high power people are not like others among the rest of countries, they worry less about losing their power, and already enjoyed the most extravagant, most sensual stuff you could’ve ever imagined, kind of make them very …… bored, so they like to play games a lot.
Now, let’s talk about the real reason why he was washed out of the election while there are more than 12 seats available on life and medical science department(http://www.casad.ac.cn/tzgg/201012/t20101231_3053214.html). Common knowledge is because he got big mouth, especially the time he(dean of the School of Life Sciences at Peking University) and Shi Yigong(dean of the School of Life Sciences at Tsinghua University) made an Editorial criticism on <Science> magazine(Sep. 3rd, 2010) about China’s research culture(http://www.sciencemag.org/content/329/5996/1128.summary). The authority was very pissed because they bought domestic disgrace under the eyes of the world (http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2011-08-22/040323027830.shtml). That could be it, there are total three rounds of review on the election, reject him on first round could send a clear message. But why not send a much clearer one by rejecting him as a candidate? You gona make a fuss anyway(because Shi Yigong returned China a year later than him and yet already made to round two) and why bother insult his scientific achievement，let him wreck on a “peer review” turn? Or it is the only “reasonable” step to kick his ass? And that lead to another question: is he really somewhat academic unqualified?
He himself was very confident about that part, on his earlier TV interview, he thought the main reason was local biologist felt uneasy on oversea returners, he said:”My lab in China was formed in 1994, and most biological academicians came out of there”(http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2011-08-19/074223017384.shtml). What he said in “English” term is: “My students can be academicians, and I’ve raised so many out of them, how can I be unqualified?” But as you know, Chinese have very long tradition of regarding their teachers. Unless Rao is really not so good at some point, you can not, even with conflicts, do that to him on this kind of formal situation. Also record show that his lab in China has no single paper outcome in 2006, 2009 and 2010. How strange! Do you smell something already?
To explain his zero productivity, he said because he had been changing his research direction for recent years (http://blog.sciencenet.cn/home.php?mod=space&uid=2237&do =blog&id=411673). But what about 2006? And yet he still decided to come back China on 2007, and yet at that time Chinese biological community blow him up into the sky for his return, compare him to the scientists who helped China build nuclear bombs and space rocket.
I began to wander: could be he is working on some secret project? If you go to his resume(http://www.nibs.ac.cn/index.php?act=view&id=1, you can see his research object include humans, and this year he published two theses about drosophila(http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v14/n7/full/nn.2836.html) and mice(http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v472/n7341/abs/nature09822.html), but no human related paper whatsoever. Also I’ve dug some comments from his blogs probably left by some of his crew. Here (http://blog.sciencenet.cn/home.php?mod=space&uid=2237&do =blog&id=284628&page=5#comment ) on Feb. 2nd, 2010, comment No.151 (Note: the number may change) said: “After yeas of unbiased observation, I’ve drawn my conclusion, that Rao is a total dawdler, all the big money just pay him to show off in front of media, write some small scientific stories,……”, and No.152 replied: “What you can see is far too limited, not only Professor Rao has done all the things you’ve talked about and more, but also his research work went very well……”.
Ok, that didn’t tell too much, but here(http://blog.sciencenet.cn/home.php?mod=space&uid=2237&do =blog&id=392855&page=5#comment ) on Dec. 14th, 2010,comment No.113,some “American”: ”……What contribution can he possibly make to the Peking University by complaining (those topics) on the web? How could he be worthy of the paycheck school gave him? ......”. No.116, some “Not-in-Beijing”: “Don’t you pretend that you really care about university wasting its money! His work is first class, why can’t he also write some blogs……” “Well, tell me about it! What first class work has he ever done since he got to Peking University, aside from doodling on the web?” ”That’s confidential to your hidden-behind-mask type. It will be published on <Nature> or <Science> when the time has come, sure as hell better than your work ten thousand times!(See, if we deduct inflation, must be 100 times better than normal discovery, and the drosophila or mice paper just doesn’t fit!) ……”. Then there was No.199, some “Hush-hush” came alone: ”I’m in Professor Rao’s lab, you two can calm down now. (To ‘American’,)Some people like drinks, some like smoke, and writing essays is Professor Rao’s hobby, same hobby as he had in America, and that is really not your business. As for what kind work he should do, his students should do, all been well supervised, not your concern either. To ‘Not-in-Beijing’, non of us ever said had to publish on <Nature> or <Science>, we care more about quality than which magazine to put on”. And last, ”Not-in-Beijing”: ”I’m sorry about my tone, and I agree most of you said, but don’t approve your view toward magazine”.
Well, still not convinced? All right, there is one more. This is a ceremony video clip (http://video.sina.com.cn/p/news/c/v/2010-01-09/145360464110.html), and Rao was winning the “Most influential people in decade -- science and education field” award. I’ll start translating from 05:36. The MC: ”The question I’m going to ask you is that life in China is still an issue, such as mine collapses, sometimes what they buried seem just a number, we almost forget it represents many vigorously vivid lives(05:43 -- TV show <Lie to me> fans should study his left hand right now), and such as ‘cut chest open to verify pneumoconiosis’(something about a migrant worker got working disease: pneumoconiosis, but the company had hidden his health monitor records and refused to compensate him, and the official evaluation institute only could give him a vague diagnoses despite many hospitals made a very positive conclusion. In desperate, he had doctor cut his chest open to “see it more clearly”, but that move still couldn’t get him paid until media made it public), etc., (the way) life (been treated) is still an issue. As a life scientist, what do you think of life, (especially) today’s life in China?” As you can see, that is a very, very classic type of question toward award-winners for that kind of big moment, to show their noble character, kind heart or something like that. (*)(*)(*)(*)! I’m not a biologist, but I’ve already come up with two classic, perfect answers the moment I heard the question. But our friend here seemed a little bit of paranoid: “I think we study life from basic biological level. Of course life is a very valuable thing for the rest of us, but from scientific angle, life is a very interesting phenomenon. How does it come from a single molecule(cell?) duplication into a complex organism? And gets so interesting like MC, who could improvise a unexpected question to…to…make fun of me(God! What on earth did this serious question make fun of you?), that’s a very interesting puzzle. So our work right now is to watch how many molecules, how many cells have participated in such action. That’s my angle towards life.” MC covered it up: ”It is from such quite interesting answer, dean Rao is reminding society to regard life. It’s just so not easy, isn’t life miracle(blur) so not easy?” Rao finally recovered: “Life is a miracle.” MC: “Then the society should treat miracle well.”
Ok, let me try interpreting Rao’s above reaction. It seemed that Rao had already felt people in his wide circle were very curious about his work; after all knowing he worked on humans isn’t that hard. May be some even know a bit details, or else could he possibly think MC was teasing him? And as a “noble” scientist, he refused to be a hypocrite; so he didn’t say “life is sacred” that kind of thing. And may be he already knew there were casualties(on progress 05:43 of the video clip, his left hand reaction, nervous? grave?) in the whole human research community; and his speech seemed just a way of express his works on humans so far: “I kill no one, I only cracked some skulls at most”.(His intention to face it means no guilt)
...... to be continued