Fraud fighter: ‘Faked research is endemic in China’


Shi-min Fang tells us how risking his life and libel writs to expose scientific misconduct in his native China has just won him the inaugural Maddox prize.

You’ve just won the inaugural Maddox prize, awarded for your continuing work exposing scientific misconduct in China despite the threats you face. How does that feel?

I am thrilled and honoured. There are many people who are supporting me and fighting with me, so I consider this award as an acknowledgement of all our efforts, not just mine.

What prompted you to start challenging dubious pseudoscientific claims in China?

In 1998, after eight years studying in the US, I returned to China and was shocked to see it was deluged with pseudosciences, superstitions and scientific misconduct.

What action did you decide to take?

I had created a Chinese website called New Threads in 1994 when I was a graduate student at Michigan State University as a forum for sharing Chinese classics and literature. From 2000, I started to publish articles on the site fighting scientific misconduct and fraud. Eventually, New Threads became a flagship for those fighting pseudoscience, misconduct, fraud and corruption among the Chinese science community.

Written By: Jon White
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  1. I wonder if there’s a contribution from foreign universities aggressively competing for visiting Chinese student revenue? There’s a problem with pretty much everything being faked in that area.

    Many of these kids might eventually return to China having acquired the reasonable assumption that this is how things work everywhere else too.

  2. “The majority of cases exposed are plagiarism” hmm, no surprise here.

    Best of luck to you Shi-min

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