Young hold key to change

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 August, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 August, 1994, 12:00am

A CHANGING political climate has hindered the achievements of Chinese social scientists for decades and only young scholars have the potential to reverse the trend, a Beijing academic said in the United States.

Speaking at an international conference in Hawaii, Professor Zhao Baoxu of Beijing University said China's academic circles had produced many inferior papers for decades as they blindly followed the changing thoughts of government leaders in times of social instability.

''These scholars are always pondering over the climate at the upper level, grasping their spirit, and then they rush to write articles to support them,'' Mr Zhao said in a speech during a meeting on international relations, China In Between Centuries.

Many scholars bowed to pressure and dropped objective and scientific attitudes in their research, serving leaders with their papers, he added in the meeting, which was attended by about 60 academics from around the world.

Mr Zhao urged the young generation in his mother country to climb to the summit of social science research as the precarious moments had passed by.

''It's unreasonable not to believe that tomorrow is better than today. Therefore, I feel that we should cast our hopes on the young generation.'' Among all disciplines in social science, political science had suffered the hardest defeat in the pragmatic campaign, which was like selling counterfeit drugs to patients, he said.

''For many years, political interference has lingered in various disciplines in social science.

''The nearer to the political reality is the discipline, the more is the interference.

''That's why in China, the fruits of social scientists look much worse than those of natural scientists. '' Professor Zhao said.