Posted on Mar 28, 2022Read on

Tian Gang: let science "return" to scientists

Heavy! Nobel Prize achievement! Revolutionary breakthrough! In recent years, similar words have frequently appeared in the reports of scientific and technological achievements in the media, and even in the description of the achievements of some researchers.

According to Tian Gang, member of the National Committee of the Chinese people’s Political Consultative Conference, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and director of the Beijing International Mathematics Research Center of Peking University, this exaggerated publicity report reflects a kind of impetuous phenomenon, which does not match the down-to-earth, realistic and pragmatic atmosphere that scientific research should have.

“The publicity and exaggeration of the influence of scientific research achievements will not only mislead public opinion and public cognition, but also affect the academic atmosphere, which is not conducive to the growth of young researchers.” In an exclusive interview with China Science Daily, Tian Gang pointed to the key.

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, China’s scientific and technological innovation capability has made great progress. “Heaven enters the sea and crosses mountains”. Chinese innovation and creation makes Chinese people excited and proud. Science and technology news has become an important content of media reports, and many science and technology have been popularized and recognized by the public.

Tian Gang pointed out that the most concentrated expression of exaggeration in science and technology publicity is to exaggerate the importance and influence of achievements. For example, as long as the papers published in famous academic journals at home and abroad are equivalent to “major breakthroughs”.

“In fact, achievements that can be called ‘major breakthroughs’ in any field are very rare. These studies are more about making meaningful progress in research, verifying previous theories or popularizing existing conclusions.” Tian Gang said. In fact, the exaggerated publicity of scientific research results can easily lead to blind optimism and misunderstanding among the public, and the public’s misunderstanding of China’s scientific and technological truth will also affect the education and growth of teenagers.

“The publicity orientation of the media has affected the academic community.” Tian Gang pointed out the “more serious” impact.

In his opinion, excessive reporting interferes with the scientific research environment, is not conducive to the growth and development of scientific researchers, and may affect the normal development of the scientific and technological community. It may be a “great waste of energy” for researchers to do a good job of publicity, rather than misleading them.

Especially for young people, guidance in the development process is very important.

“Exaggerating the reputation and even direct benefits brought by reports will cause bad demonstrations and frustrate scientific and technological workers who have made good research results but are unknown, affecting the academic atmosphere and the enthusiasm of young people.” Tian Gang said.

He also pointed out that excessive awards and talent projects are also impetuous, which will have similar consequences. “Awards are awards and academic recognition. To ensure the quality, too many awards may go against the original intention. Talent projects are very necessary as recognition and recognition of the past work of scientific researchers, but they should not become a ‘hat’ and a permanent treatment guarantee.”

Tian Gang appealed that the right of scientific research evaluation should be in the hands of scientists, and relevant units should abide by and grasp the preciseness of scientific and technological reports, minimize the evaluation activities of scientific and technological achievements organized by non academic institutions, curb the wind of exaggeration and impetuosity in scientific and technological publicity and scientific and technological circles, and provide a clean and positive environment for scientific and technological circles.

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