The cultural revolution had just ended when Cheng Pei-kai found himself in the chaotic streets of Changsha, with posters criticising Lin Biao, Confucius and even Deng Xiaoping plastered everywhere. He wanted to visit Yuelu Academy but his request was unfulfilled. More than forty years later, he finally made a visit. This institution that is regarded as one of the four great academies in ancient China — where exactly lies its charm?
Researchers possibly withholding information about human-to-human transmission, or publishing papers using someone else's research data... These are just a few of the controversies of the Chinese research system highlighted by the Covid-19 outbreak. How can the scientific community break out of the cycle of alleged unscholarly conduct?
Deng Xize asserts that the oligopolistic system in Chinese academia facilitates a covert form of corruption. Specifically, academics double hat as government officials, thereby gaining advantages such as greater access to academic resources. For him, a clear separation between academics and politics is the most urgent reform needed in Chinese academia.