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美国《科学》杂志2006年12月1日报道

◇◇新语丝(www.xys.org)(xys.dxiong.com)(xys.3322.org)(xys.xlogit.com)◇◇

中国打假人士遭遇诽谤判决打击;支持者团结起来

记者:贾鹤鹏 郝炘 美国《科学》2006年12月1日

  中国自任的科学警察方是民在其旗帜鲜明反对学术不端行为的运动中,上周遭遇了两次挫折。两个中国法庭做出对方是民以及刊登其揭露伪科学和学术造假文章的报纸和网站不利的诽谤判决。方是民以其笔名方舟子出名,他的揭露已导致几名科学家丢掉工作、丧失声誉。

  由于方舟子现在处于守势,他的支持者设立了两个资金帮助支付诉讼费用。“如果你打击假科学,假科学(制造者)就要来打你。”科普作家、一个资金的共同组织者郭正谊说。郭正谊及其他人士说他们希望通过引起人们关注他们认为“荒唐”的法院判决,能促使中国政府打击腐败行为。

  方舟子在美国获得生物化学博士学位并做过博士后研究,之后成为科学随笔作家。2001年,他在中国媒体上读到有关“核酸营养品”的不实宣传后,开始向欺诈行为开火。随后他开始用其网站新语丝驳斥伪科学和揭露不端行为,包括履历浮夸和数据造假等(见《科学》2001年8月10日,p.1039)。

  据方舟子估计,新语丝已披露了500多起造假指控。方舟子本人揭露了一些案例,但是大多数案例都是别人用电子邮件发给他的。只有个别的揭露导致官方进行调查,造假者因此受到惩罚的更少——最著名的是北京的清华大学医学院院长助理和上海的同济大学的一名院长都因为伪造履历、夸大成果而在今年早些时候被开除。

  新语丝上的匿名指控也让一些人感到不安,将它们比做文化大革命中批判“阶级敌人”的大字报。方舟子及其支持者争辩说二者有一大不同:网络张贴是个人行为,并非政府授意的。中国政府对此采取模糊的立场:它屏蔽了新语丝在美国的网站,但是允许登录其镜像点。

  方舟子近日受到的挫折是在两天内相继出现的。在11月21日,北京中级法院判决方舟子2005年写的一篇文章损害了一名已故四川政府官员刘子华的名誉。刘子华在1930年代写于法国的一篇学位论文中,根据《易经》八卦进行计算,预测太阳系存在第十颗大行星。去年宣布发现2003UB313号行星(现在正式称为矮行星埃里斯)后,刘子华的预言又被人挖掘了出来。一家四川报纸发表报道吹捧刘子华的预言。

  方舟子在一篇随笔中将刘子华的预测归为“伪科学”,并注意到在1940年代一名中国天文学家已批驳了该预测。刘子华的遗孀和儿子状告方舟子和几家报纸、网站诽谤。法院判决方舟子的言论“侮辱”刘子华,并命令他公开道歉,赔偿刘子华家属2500美元和诉讼费。刘子华家属没有答复采访要求。

  接着在11月22日,西安法院在另一起诽谤案件中也对方舟子做出不利判决,命令他和北京科技报赔偿西安翻译学院18650美元及其院长丁祖诒1250美元,以及诉讼费。在2004年,中国报纸报道说,《洛杉矶时报》的“报道”赞扬丁祖诒是中国最受尊敬的大学校长之一,并且其培训译员的私立学校在中国大学中排名第十。在2005年《北京科技报》的一篇报道中,方舟子引用教育部发言人的话说,调查显示所谓《洛杉矶时报》的报道是“一则自费广告”。丁祖诒状告方舟子诽谤。记者没能找到丁祖诒发表评论。

  方舟子正在上诉今年7月份武汉法院做出的另一个诽谤判决。在这个案件中,武汉的华中科技大学泌尿教授、纽约大学医学院临床副教授肖传国状告方舟子,由于方舟子在去年的一篇随笔中指责他把会议摘要充当在国际期刊上发表的论文以夸大其成就。方舟子并对肖传国声称其发明的手术方法获得国际承认、赢得泌尿学“最高奖”的说法提出质疑。法官判决方舟子的批评“严重缺乏事实依据”,并命令他公开道歉,赔偿肖传国3750美元。预计十二月初会做出终审判决。

  肖传国告诉《科学》,这些指控没有根据,方舟子“有意混淆”肖传国获得的泌尿学奖。肖传国称他在2002年以前支持方舟子,之后他认定方舟子开始用没有多少依据的指控“误导公众”。

  做为对武汉判决的回应,住在佛罗里达的金融分析师、方舟子的大学同学张锋和其他八名中国留美人员【基金会按:此处翻译不确,应为“八名海外华人”,我们的基金会理事会成员并非全部是留美华人】在上个月建立中国科学与学术诚信基金会,为方舟子和其他反腐败人士募捐。到现在该非赢利组织已收到了一万多美元的捐款。在中国,郭正谊和其他人也建立了一个独立的反对科学造假资金。方舟子的律师彭剑希望基金会能募捐“用于对某些案例进行系统调查,或者组织学术会议讨论对已被确认为造假的人进行法律处罚。”

  方舟子誓言将继续对不端行为和荒诞言行“做严厉的批评”。但是他怀疑他个人打假行为能对清理中国学术界起到“决定性作用”。他说,为了有更大的成效,他倾向于在适当的时候向中国科技部新成立的办公室举报,等有了回音后再在网上张贴。

SCIENTIFIC CONDUCT China’s Fraud Buster Hit by Libel Judgments; Defenders Rally Round

1 DECEMBER 2006 VOL 314 SCIENCE. pp. 1366-1367

BEIJING—China’s self-appointed science cop, Fang Shi-min, was dealt a pair of setbacks last week in his high-profile crusade against academic misconduct. Two Chinese courts handed down libel judgments against Fang, known by his nom de guerre Fang Zhouzi, and the newspapers and Internet sites that have featured his writings on pseudoscience and fraud. Fang’s revelations have cost several scientists their jobs and reputations.

With Fang now on the defensive, his backers are setting up two funds to help foot the costs of litigation. “If you strike false science, false science [makers] will strike you,” says Guo Zhengyi, a science writer and a co-organizer of one foundation. Guo and others say they hope that, by drawing attention to what they call “absurd” court rulings, they may force the government to crack down on corruption.

Fang received a Ph.D. in biochemistry and did a postdoc in the United States before becoming a science essayist. He got fired up about fraud in 2001, after reading dubious claims in the Chinese media about “nucleotide supplements.” Fang then started using his Web site, Xin Yu Si (“New Threads”), to debunk pseudoscience and expose alleged misconduct, from résumé padding to data fabrication (Science,10 August 2001, p. 1039).

By Fang’s tally, New Threads has aired allegations against more than 500 individuals. Fang uncovered some cases himself, but most were e-mailed to him by others. Few exposures have led to official investigations, and fewer still have resulted in punishment— the most notable being the dismissals earlier this year of an assistant dean of Qinghua University’s medical school in Beijing and a dean at Tongji University in Shanghai, both for having falsified their résumés and exaggerated achievements.

The anonymous allegations published on New Threads trouble some people, who liken them to dazibao, or posters, used during the Cultural Revolution to denounce “class enemies.” Fang and his supporters contend there’s a big difference: The Web postings are individual actions not directed by the state. The Chinese government takes an ambiguous stance: It blocks access in China to New Threads’ U.S.– based site, www.xys.org, but allows access to mirror sites.

Fang’s recent setbacks came on consecutive days. On 21 November, a Beijing intermediate court ruled that an article Fang wrote in 2005 defamed the late Liu Zihua, a Sichuan provincial government employee. In a dissertation written in France in the 1930s, Liu presented calculations based on the eight trigrams of an ancient divination text, I Ching (Book of Changes), predicting the existence of a 10th major planet in the solar system. Liu’s prognostication was resurrected after last year’s announced discovery of 2003UB313 (now officially a dwarf planet named Eris). A Sichuan newspaper ran a story extolling Liu’s prophecy.

In an essay, Fang labeled Liu’s prediction “pseudoscience” and noted that a Chinese astronomer discredited it in the 1940s. Liu’s widow and son sued Fang and several newspapers and Internet content providers for libel. The court judged Fang’s words “insulting” to Liu and ordered him to apologize publicly and pay Liu’s family $2500 plus legal fees. The family did not respond to an interview request.

Then on 22 November, a court in Xi’an slapped another libel judgment on Fang, ordering him and Beijing Keji Bao (Beijing Sci-Tech Report) to pay Xi’an Fanyi University $18,750 and its president Ding Zuyi $1250 in damages plus legal fees. In 2004, Chinese newspapers ran stories citing a “report” in the Los Angeles Times lauding Ding as one of China’s most respected university presidents and his private college for training translators as the 10th-ranked university in China. In a 2005 article in Beijing Sci-Tech Report, Fang quoted an education ministry spokesperson, who stated that investigations showed the report to be “a self-paid advertisement.” Ding sued Fang for libel. Ding could not be reached for comment.

Fang is appealing another libel verdict by a Wuhan court last July. In this case, Xiao Chuan-guo, a urology professor at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan and a clinical associate professor at New York University School of Medicine, sued after Fang accused him in an essay last year of counting conference abstracts as publications in international journals to inflate his achievements. Fang also challenged Xiao’s claim that a surgical procedure he invented is recognized internationally and has won neurourology’s “highest award.” The presiding judge ruled that Fang’s criticisms “seriously lacked facts” and ordered him to apologize publicly and pay Xiao $3750 in compensation. A final ruling is expected in early December.

Xiao told Science that the accusations are groundless and that Fang “intentionally confused” Xiao’s urology awards. Xiao says he supported Fang until 2002, after which he concluded that Fang had begun to “misguide the public” with less-than-solid accusations.

In response to the Wuhan ruling, Zhang Feng, a Florida-based financial analyst and college classmate of Fang’s, along with eight other expatriates, last month established the Organization for Scientific and Academic Integrity in China to raise money for Fang and other anticorruption campaigners. So far, the nonprofit has received more than $10,000 in donations. And in China, Guo and others are creating a separate science fraud-fighting fund. Fang’s lawyer, Peng Jian, hopes the foundations will raise money to “implement systematic investigations into some individual cases or organize seminars to discuss legal punishments against proved misconduct makers.”

Fang vows to continue “using sharptongued criticism” to expose misconduct and folly. But he doubts that his freelance fraud busting can play a “decisive role” in cleaning up Chinese academia. To be more effective, he says, he intends to report future allegations, when appropriate, to a new disciplinary office at China’s Ministry of Science and Technology and wait for a response before posting them online.

–JIA HEPENG AND HAO XIN Jia Hepeng is a writer in Beijing.

(XYS20061201)

◇◇新语丝(www.xys.org)(xys.dxiong.com)(xys.3322.org)(xys.xlogit.com)◇◇

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网页最后更新于 2006 年 12 月 08 日, 04:16 上午