Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Zugzwang
    Joined
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    10 Oct '15 18:59
    Given that on several previous occasions, I have written about this subject
    here, I have decided to put this post here, as a follow-up to my earlier comments.

    The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (which honoured researchers
    in tropical medicine) has been awarded in part (1/2 share) to Tu Youyou (age 84).
    In the late 1960s-early 1970s, she led a team of Chinese scientists that
    developed artemisinin, the most effective drug ever developed against malaria.
    Artemisinin already has been credited with saving millions of lives.
    (Tu Youyou had volunteered to be the first human subject to be given
    artemisinin when it was being developed as an experimental drug.)
    I believe that the Nobel Prize should be considered a collective award,
    honouring the team of Chinese scientists as well as Tu Youyou herself.
    Tu Youyou becomes the ninth scientist (as I recall) of Chinese heritage
    to win a Nobel Prize but the first to win while having done all her work
    in the People's Republic of China.

    While I believed that the development of artemisinin was worthy of a
    Nobel Prize, I was not hopeful that, for political reasons, the Nobel Prize
    Committee would be happy to recognize any achievement of Chinese science.
    And time was running out because Tu Youyou's 84 years old and the
    Nobel Prize cannot be awarded posthumously.

    Tu Youyou's career was different from that of a top doctor in the capitalist West.
    Given that her education was provided by the Chinese state, she has
    said that her only concern was to serve the Chinese people and humanity
    in general, not caring about money or fame. Indeed, Tu Youyou has long
    been living in retirement on a modest pension, poor by most Western standards.
    And for many years, she and her Chinese colleagues received hardly
    any recognition from their peers in the West. Few Westerners probably
    would know (or like to admit) that a drug (which has been copied in the West)
    that has saved millions of lives could have been developed in China.
    My point is that this drug against malaria (which generally afflicts poor
    non-Western people) was not developed by profit-driven Western companies.
    Shouldn't someone who developed a 'miracle drug' to help affluent Westerners
    lose weight be rewarded much more than someone who developed a
    'miracle drug' to save the lives of non-Westerners afflicted by malaria?

    In a recent radio interview, a top American researcher in her field said
    that he would like to meet Tu Youyou soon (before she died). Evidently,
    he's never had any communication with her, only (belatedly) reading
    from afar about her work. I hope that this Nobel Prize will encourage
    Chinese scientists to believe that Westerners are not completely prejudiced
    against them and to encourage breaking down barriers in scientific cooperation.
    (Since 1949 China has generally been the target of a US-led embargo,
    which was more restrictive than that against the USSR, prohibiting the
    transfer of advanced technology to China.) And Tu Youyou's story
    may inspire more women to pursue careers in medicine or science.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu_Youyou
  2. Joined
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    10 Oct '15 19:07
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Given that on several previous occasions, I have written about this subject
    here, I have decided to put this post here, as a follow-up to my earlier comments.

    The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (which honoured researchers
    in tropical medicine) has been awarded in part (1/2 share) to Tu Youyou (age 84).
    In the late 1960s-early 1970s, she l ...[text shortened]... e more women to pursue careers in medicine or science.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu_Youyou
    Is she related to the " Chuckle brothers "
    "Too me, Too you "😴
  3. Germany
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    10 Oct '15 19:07
    I doubt there is much "prejudice" against Chinese scientists in the West, considering so many Chinese researchers are currently working there.
  4. Zugzwang
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    10 Oct '15 19:343 edits
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I doubt there is much "prejudice" against Chinese scientists in the West, considering so many Chinese researchers are currently working there.
    I was referring more to *popular* prejudice (such as among Western journalists and politicians)
    than prejudice among Western scientists against Chinese scientists. It's common to hear
    racist sneering to the effect that all Chinese scientists or engineers are incapable of doing
    any significant original work and, at best, can only make inferior copies of Western technology.

    Not long ago, some prominent right-wing American politicians mischaracterized Qian Xuesen
    (whom Theodore von Karman had called a 'genius' ) as a Chinese Communist spy
    who had come to steal advanced American rocket technology that he could not have
    developed on his own. In fact, Qian Xuesen was a leading scientist in developing
    American rocket technology; he was accused, in effect, of 'stealing' his own secrets.

    It has been rather common (will it change now?) for American journalists to make the
    false claim that 'no Chinese scientist has ever won a Nobel Prize', sometimes insinuating
    that no Chinese scientist ever would be capable of winning a Nobel Prize. This claim
    rests upon an extremely tendentious interpretation of what it means to be Chinese
    (which passport should count if a scientist has more than one?). American reference
    books routinely claim that Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen-Ning Yang were exclusively American
    *and not Chinese* when they won the 1957 Nobel Prize in physics. In fact, Lee and Yang then
    were still citizens of China, and they did not even apply for US citizenship until several years later.
    Until they won the Nobel Prize, Lee and Yang were perceived and treated as Chinese
    by Americans, but the needs of American propaganda made them 'instant Americans'.

    In the 1930s-1940s, many European Jewish scientists came as refugees to the USA.
    And some of these European Jews discovered there was anti-Semitism in the USA.
    I have to say that scientists are *not immune* to prejudice, and there's some prejudice
    (though typically not overt) among Western scientists against Chinese working in the West.
    (For whatever it's worth, there was a case in which a Chinese PhD student in physics,
    who believed that his supervisor (who previously taught in apartheid South Africa) was
    a racist prejudiced against him. That Chinese student shot and killed that professor
    and some other people, including another Chinese student, before killing himself.)
    I know that some Western graduate students resent Chinese graduate students who
    represent their major competition for the same grants and employment opportunities.
  5. Standard memberfinnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
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    10 Oct '15 22:32
    Good to see the Chinese state investing in treatment for a disease of the poor in the developing world, which is not attractive to the western drugs companies that have hijacked our health budgets for the benefit of their shareholders and executives.
  6. Zugzwang
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    10 Oct '15 23:48
    Originally posted by finnegan
    Good to see the Chinese state investing in treatment for a disease of the poor in the developing world, which is not attractive to the western drugs companies that have hijacked our health budgets for the benefit of their shareholders and executives.
    Some areas of southern China are afflicted by malaria.

    "I saw a lot of (Chinese) children who were in the latest stages of malaria. Those kids died very quickly."
    --Tu Youyou

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/oct/05/youyou-tu-how-maos-challenge-to-malaria-pioneer-led-to-nobel-prize
  7. Account suspended
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    11 Oct '15 01:181 edit
    OMG ! OMG !
    Someone from China did something good, let's make a BFD out of it.
  8. Subscribersonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    slatington, pa, usa
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    12 Oct '15 16:42
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Some areas of southern China are afflicted by malaria.

    "I saw a lot of (Chinese) children who were in the latest stages of malaria. Those kids died very quickly."
    --Tu Youyou

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/oct/05/youyou-tu-how-maos-challenge-to-malaria-pioneer-led-to-nobel-prize
    I say congratulations to her and the committee for giving it to her before she died and thus not eligible. Why did they wait so long anyway?
  9. Zugzwang
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    12 Oct '15 20:50
    Originally posted by FishHead111
    OMG ! OMG !
    Someone from China did something good, let's make a BFD out of it.
    If FishHead111's ever severely afflicted by malaria, I would have no objection to him saying
    "As a proud racially superior white American, I would rather die than take any drug invented in China!"
    as long as he follows through by doing it.
  10. Zugzwang
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    12 Oct '15 20:551 edit
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I say congratulations to her and the committee for giving it to her before she died
    and thus not eligible. Why did they wait so long anyway?
    The Nobel Prize committee's deliberations are secret. Yet I suspect that if Tu Youyou
    were a Westerner, she likely would have received Western scientific awards earlier.
    It's worth noting that Tu Youyou was appointed to lead a team of scientists in China in
    the 1960s, when extremely few, if any, women were leading such teams in the West.

    'Women hold up half the sky.'
    --Mao Zedong
  11. The Catbird's Seat
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    12 Oct '15 21:02
    Are you Chinese, BTW?
  12. Standard memberfinnegan
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    13 Oct '15 10:14
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Are you Chinese, BTW?
    Probably not a white male American half baked fart like yourself so possibly not to be trusted.
  13. Subscribersonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    slatington, pa, usa
    Joined
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    15 Oct '15 15:18
    Originally posted by finnegan
    Probably not a white male American half baked fart like yourself so possibly not to be trusted.
    Possibly?
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