China Science Daily reported on August 11 that “greeting may not pass, but it will certainly not pass without greeting.” Speaking of the current trend of “greeting” and “going out of touch” in the field of science and technology, Professor Huang Tiejun of Peking University is quite touched. Like him, many scientific and technological workers often receive such “relationship” calls when they are immersed in scientific research and can’t bear to be disturbed.
However, to his delight, there is a basis for his refusal in such a situation in the future. “If you have another request, please reply to order 19.”
the “No.19 order” he referred to refers to the “Interim Provisions on the handling of violations of scientific and technological activities” officially promulgated by the Ministry of science and technology on July 31, which will come into effect on September 1 this year.
However, after the promulgation of the regulation, it caused different repercussions in the academic circle. Some scholars, like Huang Tiejun, believe that “the risk of violation of regulations will be greatly increased” and “great efforts” will be made in the future, while others believe that “the temporary cure is not the root cause” and “the process is more open and the operation is more covert”. So, is order 19 the antidote or analgesic for scientific research chaos? On August 9, at the special forum held in Beijing by CCF YOCSEF, academicians and experts from academic and industrial circles discussed this topic.
No.19 order defines for the first time a series of illegal types and treatment measures in the process of scientific and technological activities, and the applicable subject of violations has also expanded from scientific research personnel in previous documents to participants in various links of scientific and technological activities. In addition, the regulation also makes a detailed definition of all kinds of violations of the main body, such as the “hello” and “relationship” request of consulting and evaluation experts.
when interpreting the significance of this regulation, Professor Zhang Xiaodong of Ohio State University, who has a deep understanding of domestic academic circles, pointed out that the scale of “violations” has been expanded to a considerable extent, and those who do not “violate the regulations” will be treated unfairly. “Greeting is now tantamount to lobbying.”
and the reason for this lies in the two aspects of system and culture. In terms of system, the allocation of scientific research resources is closely related to various awards and talent plans, and awards and research projects are related to the vital interests of researchers and units. Culturally speaking, China is a “human relationship” society, and people’s friendship and relationship are often higher than the provisions of the system. Uncertainty, non strictness and unfairness are inevitable in the process of evaluation.
“scientific research projects and funds are only” fuel “for work, not results. But we value them so much that they become almost everything in scientific research. This may be one of the reasons for “breaking the rules.” Zhang Xiaodong said.
in Huang Tiejun’s view, the internal logic of the unhealthy trend of scientific research is, in the final analysis, to pursue fame and wealth, that is, to break the “only” in the “four only” and “five only”. The pursuit of fame and wealth has submerged the pursuit of excellence, which has something to do with the growth of research funds.
“funds are fiercer than tigers. If they are not well managed and used properly, they will eat back scientific research.” Huang Tiejun pointed out that a distorted logic is that projects and funds are mostly equal to strong or high-level scientific research ability; in order to get more projects or funds, “greeting” and “going out of relationship” are rampant.
“in fact, the normal logic should be that when the scientific research ability is strong or the level is equal to the high output, the funds used are less.” Huang Tiejun stressed.
the science and technology ecology of self-discipline can only be formed under the supervision of “heteronomy”. Li Guojie, academician of the Chinese Academy of engineering, borrows a popular line order as the importance of “rules”. “Money is not everything, but it is absolutely impossible without money. We can also say that strict discipline is not omnipotent, but it is absolutely impossible without clear rules.”
he believed that order 19 increased the deterrent power against violations. It is clearly stipulated that the atmosphere of greeting should be restrained and the atmosphere in the scientific and technological circles will be further improved.
how to put an end to “violations” completely? Zhang Xiaodong put forward three questions: how to use the system to separate the “human relationship” society in the evaluation? How to make the scientific research environment more peaceful and independent and less harmful administrative intervention? How to get rid of the superficial evaluation? “It’s quite difficult to solve these problems and I can’t give the answers,” he said
However, he also made some specific suggestions, that is, the key to the review is to examine the impact of research and development. To this end, he proposed that the threshold for obtaining research projects and funding should be lowered, but the criteria for evaluating research results should be greatly improved, with fewer talent plans and awards, and more time for work. At the same time, the system should guide scientific research personnel to do really influential work, because the real “wise man” is not obtained by “violating the rules”. “A scholar should be” the honor of loving the truth is better than the honor of an overheated lover. ”
Huang Tiejun suggested that scientific research projects can be divided into two categories, namely, free exploration projects and goal oriented projects. It is necessary to give full play to the subjective initiative of talents, determine the direction and content, and support the steady development of potential talents. The responsibility lies with scholars.
while goal-oriented projects are top-down, making good use of the demand baton. Whether they are valuable or not depends on the proposer. For this kind of project, the national and industrial application needs should be very clear, the key research objectives and acceptance indicators should be specific, similar to the enterprise contract. During the evaluation, the team with advanced scheme, good foundation and less fund demand shall be supported, and the bid winner shall be responsible. Rewards and punishments shall be determined according to the completion of the indicators, and part or all of the funds shall be recovered for those not completed.
since this year, the international situation has become increasingly complex. “What scientists and technicians are worried about is that under this situation, how can the scientific and technological circles lie down on their salaries and try their guts, make up for the weaknesses as soon as possible, improve the supply capacity of science and technology, and how the top scientific and technological talents can emerge. No violation is only the passing standard, and the scientific and technological personnel who do not violate the regulations are just good citizens of the scientific and technological circles. ” Li Guojie further pointed out that “severe punishment of scientific and technological violations is a necessary condition for the development of science and technology, but not a sufficient condition for promoting the development of science and technology.”
at the forum, Li Guojie made two impromptu remarks. First, good style of study mainly depends on guidance rather than management. In his opinion, there are many unhealthy tendencies in today’s scientific and technological circles, which is the result of the neglect of humanistic education for many years after the “Cultural Revolution”. Although science and technology is not a pure land, it should not be the dirtiest place in the whole society. There are a lot of violations in the scientific and technological circles, but we should believe that most scientific and technological workers are conscientious in scientific research, not in deliberate fraud. “No. 19, it’s going to clean the papers.”
in addition, “from another perspective, this is also caused by our evaluation system”. Li Guojie pointed out that if there are not so many “caps” for talents, there is no need for me or the unit to apply for the award. I have no idea what achievements are being evaluated by the reviewers. Naturally, there will be fewer people who say hello.
the second point is that tolerance is more urgently needed by the science and technology community. In Li Guojie’s opinion, it is a meticulous matter to distinguish the authenticity and value of a scientific research achievement, which requires tolerance and patience. Laozi said, “governing a big country is like cooking a small dish.”. Vexation is labor, disturbing is fish collapse. “In my opinion, scientific research is just like cooking fresh food. Don’t disturb the people, let alone fiddle with it. Scientific research needs a quiet environment and should be disturbed as little as possible. ”
Li Guojie pointed out that if all scientific research is managed as a contractor team to repair bridges and roads, violations will certainly be reduced, but it is difficult to say whether science and technology really goes up. “Our major goal is to strengthen China through science and technology, realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and build a community of shared future for mankind. With this big goal in mind, we will surely have a wider and wider road if we use the principle of” managing small things with great ways. “