Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Nature's New Low

Back in August during the London Olympic, British journal Nature published an article promptly after Chinese athlete Ye Shiwen earned a gold medal in Women's 400 meters, in which it called Ye a Chinese cheater.

Expectantly, the Nature article generated a huge public outcry among Chinese in China and overseas as they felt being hurt emotionally. However, the true damage for a journal like Nature to throw in such an accusation was caused by the fact that the article was lack of any proof or logic. Even worse, the author not only cherry picked information to fabricate his theory, but also manipulate numbers, and in more than multiple cases, altered numbers to prove that his theory that: 1) With no exception, 2) Chinese could not swim as fast as Caucasians, 3) due to genetic differences between the two races.

The author, Ewen Callaway, is a veteran Nature reporter. Readers do not need to read between lines to find the article biased and racially motivated.

Out of one and half billion Chinese, Callaway has one true friend, Dr. Fang Shimin, who on his own website New Word Thread (Xinyusi) echoed Callaway's accusations and tried his best to generate an ambient light by reminding readers previous dosing incidents in China. Fully aware that Callaway's racism blast bears no scientific value and is the opposite of science by all possible way, Fang tried to deflect criticism by pointing out past incidents when Chinese athletes were caught with doping.

Dr. Fang's loyalty was appraised as high as £2,000 last week when Nature handed Fang the John Maddox Prize, named after a Nature editor, for standing up for science. Ironically, Fang's show on the Callaway article is nothing but standing up for science. Perhaps, a proper title should be, 'for standing up against science (Science is a rivalry journal published in the US, no pun intended), but with us'.

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