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科学顾问袁越:祝贺方舟子获得约翰·麦道克斯捍卫科学奖
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互动百科科学顾问,《三联生活周刊》“生命八卦”特约撰稿人袁越,撰文恭贺科学顾问方舟子获得约翰·麦道克斯捍卫科学奖

 

John Maddox是《Nature》前主编,2009年因病去世。《Nature》杂志和一家英国科普组织Sense About Science决定以他的名字设立了一个“捍卫科学奖”,奖励全世界那些敢于站出来捍卫科学的人。
john_maddox_1388634f

组织者找我推荐候选人,我推荐了方舟子。下面就是我当时写的推荐信:

Mr. Fang’s real name is Fang Shimin, but he is well known in China as Fang Zhouzi. He received a PhD from Michigan State University, majoring in biochemistry. But he decided to return to China, working as a free-lance science writer. Since then he has published many popular books about science. He is widely considered as the best science writer, as well as the leading myth-buster in China. His blog, as well as Weibo (a twitter-like Chinese website) are all extremely popular in China. He personally reported many frauds in Chinese research fields, as well as many bad reporting by Chinese media about science. For example, just last month he reported two Chinese researchers using false diploma, both cases were later confirmed by their employers, and both scientists were fired.

But what made him a household name was an assault accident. Mr. Xiao Chuanguo, a urologist at Tongji Medical College in Wuhan, hired two thugs to chase him down in broad daylight and try to kill him using a hammer. Luckily he survived this attack and Mr. Xiao was put in prison. The reason for this attack was apparently retaliation. Mr. Fang has been openly criticizing Mr. Xiao’s medical practice. Xiao opened a clinic in Wuhan, doing illegal operations on patients without proper clinical trials, and without proper documentations from Chinese FDA. But because of Xiao’s influence, a lot of Chinese reporters wrote false stories about him. Many patients believed those stories and went for the operation, and regretted. Only when this incident happened did the government banned Mr. Xiao’s operation. If it not for Dr. Fang, there would be more victims.

Nature has published a story about this accident. The link is as follows http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100929/full/467511a.html

Nature/Medicine also named Mr. Fang People of the Year. Here is the original description about this award:

Fang Shimin: Least likely to back down Chinese blogger

Shimin has investigated and exposed numerous counts of scientific misconduct. But even writing under a pen name (’Fang Zhouzi’) did not protect him from a physical attack, in which he says he was chased down by assailants wielding a hammer. Shimin suffered only minor injuries, but the incident brought attention to the perils faced by journalists reporting on fraud in China.

Therefore, I’d like to recommend Mr Fang as this year’s John Maddox Prize winner.

主办方本来只想选出一个获胜者,但最后收到了49个推荐,很多候选人都很强,不得已只能增加一个名额,方舟子和另一位英国科学家分享了这个奖,每人获得奖金2000英镑。

下面是主办方的获奖情况介绍,后面有我写的一段祝贺语:

Scientists who faced harassment bringing science to the public awarded for their courage

Professor Simon Wessely and Fang Shi-min are the two winners of the inaugural John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science 2012

The Prize1 recognises the work of individuals who promote sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest, facing difficulty or hostility in doing so. It is a joint initiative of the science journal Nature and the charity Sense About Science, with support from the Kohn Foundation. The late Sir John Maddox, FRS, was editor of Nature for 22 years and a founding trustee of Sense About Science. The Prize pays tribute to the attitude of Sir John who, in the words of his friend Walter Gratzer:

“wrote prodigiously on all that was new and exciting in scientific discovery and technological advance, denouncing fearlessly what he believed to be wrong, dishonest or shoddy. He did it with humour and grace, but he never sidestepped controversy, which he seemed in fact to relish. His forthrightness brought him some enemies, often in high places, but many more friends. He changed attitudes and perceptions, and strove throughout his long working life for a better public understanding and appreciation of science.”

Faced with a very high standard of nominations the judges2 have decided, in the inaugural year of the Prize, to make two awards:

To Fang Shi-min, a freelance science journalist based in Beijing, for his bravery and determination in standing up to threats to his life to uncover clinics promoting unproven treatments, and to bring a wide public readership to the importance of looking for evidence.

To Simon Wessely, Professor of Psychological Medicine at Kings College London, for his ambition and courage in the field of ME (chronic fatigue syndrome) and Gulf War syndrome, and the way he has dealt bravely with intimidation and harassment when speaking about his work and that of colleagues.

Philip Campbell, Editor, Nature and judge:

“We looked beyond communicating for a more unusual degree of courage and to uncover people who otherwise don’t get noticed. The winners of the prize demonstrated the kind of sustained resilience and determination to communicate good science that John Maddox personified.”

Tracey Brown, Director, Sense About Science and judge:

“John Maddox was a strong and brave communicator and in his years as a trustee of Sense About Science he urged us to be stronger and braver too. The many impressive nominations for the John Maddox Prize showed that his values are carried forward in the courage and responsibility that people are taking for communicating sound science and evidence in diverse situations around the world. They also showed us that recognition for it is overdue and that we need to make this an annual prize. I’m delighted to confirm that both Nature and Sense About Science have agreed to do this.”

Brenda Maddox, judge:

“My late husband John had an unusual combination of knowledge of science and eloquence of expression. Someone once asked him, ‘how much of what you print is wrong?’ referring to Nature. John answered immediately, ‘all of it. That’s what science is about – new knowledge constantly arriving to correct the old.’ He led a supreme example of science journalism and others will do well to look up to it.”

The winners are congratulated:

Professor Colin Blakemore, University of Oxford and judge:

“We were overwhelmed with the number and quality of nominations, but the two winners stood out. In different ways, in very different environments, Simon Wessely and Fang Shi-min have worked with courage and dignity to uphold the standards of science and evidence against the forces of prejudice and greed.”

Professor Sir John Beddington, Government Chief Scientific Adviser:

“Given the importance of science and evidence to understanding and tackling the major challenges the world faces it is more important than ever for scientists to speak up and make their views heard. This always requires conviction but often requires real courage too, and I welcome the John Maddox Prize as recognition of that.”

Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society:

“We live in complex times, where humanity faces huge challenges as well as exciting opportunities. The need for science could not be clearer, yet too often it is relegated, ignored and even maligned. The John Maddox Prize is an exciting new initiative to recognise bold scientists who battle to ensure that sense, reason and evidence base play a role in the most contentious debates. The winners will be an inspiration to us all.”

Albert Yue Yuan, science writer, San Lian Life Weekly, Beijing:

“Following the wave of democracy in China, the anti-science movement has gained momentum in recent years. Fortunately we do have some people, both active scientists and science writers, who are willing to stand up for science. Mr Fang Shi-min is the most prominent one. Because of his bravery, there are more and more Chinese people who realized that democracy needs science. These two can’t be separated. I’d like to congratulate Mr. Fang for this award. I hope that he will inspire more people to stand up and fight for science.”

Sir Ralph Kohn FRS of the Kohn Foundation, which contributed to the prize:

“This is such a well-deserved recognition of John’s outstanding scientific work for many years and we are privileged to be associated with this initiative.”

Words from the winners:

Fang Shi-Min:

“I’m truly honoured to receive the John Maddox Prize. Science in China faces great challenges from superstition, pseudoscience, anti-science and scientific misconduct. There are more and more Chinese people who realise this is a big problem and are standing up for science. I consider this award as an acknowledgement of our efforts from the international science community and I deeply appreciate it. Thank you.”

Professor Simon Wessely:

“I was surprised but also delighted to be one of the first two recipients of the John Maddox Prize. There have been times over the years when standing up for science has indeed been difficult, but it has always been worthwhile and never lonely, as I been helped and sustained by the support of so many other wonderful clinicians and scientists who work in the same field and have had similar experiences to me over the years, any one of whom would have been equally worthy of this honour.”

1楼 发表日期:12-11-13 16:50:26