The inaugural John Maddox Prize was awarded to Professor Simon Wessely and FANG Shi-min.
Who is Fang Shi-min? He’s best known as 方舟子 －Fang Zhouzi, the most outspoken whistle-blower on all sorts of scientific and academic fraud in China. He’s nicknamed the ‘Science Cop’, exposing plagiarism, falsification of resume and credentials, misinformation, pseudoscience, and outlandish data fabrication.
Fang Shi-min (Fang Zhouzi) graduated from Michigan State University with a PhD in biochemistry. According to the panel, Mr Fang was awarded 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.
You can hear Mr Fang’s short acceptance speech here: FANG Zhouzi’s speech on receiving the John Maddox Prize 2012 or see a 7 minute documentary of the award on Youtube:
“I’m truly honoured to receive the John Maddox Prize. Science in China faces great challenges from superstition, psuedoscience, 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.”
By Fang Zhouzi 方舟子
According to Evan Osnos, of The New Yorker, Fang Shimin has over the years investigated and exposed the kind of fraud, plagiarism, and academic malfeasance that endangers China’s ambition to produce credible world-class innovation. Most recently, he was in the news for reporting that the former head of Microsoft China, Tang Jun, held a Ph.D. from a diploma mill called Pacific Western University.
Fang Zhouzi’s crusade also penetrated the literary world. Mr Fang accused China’s golden boy, Han Han 韩寒, of using ghostwriters. Han Han is a professional rally driver, best-selling author and singer. According to the Wikipedia, in 2010, Han Han was named one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine. The British magazine New Statesman also listed Han Han at 48th place in the list of “The World’s 50 Most Influential Figures 2010”.
Han Han has since sued FANG Zhouzi for defamation. The battle of FANG Zhouzi and HAN Han is the most sensational gossip in the Chinese blogosphere in the past year.
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Fang Zhouzi’s blog (in Chinese)
Letter of Recommendation for Fang Zhouzi and judges’ views