Taiwan's leading research institute, Academia Sinica, yesterday denied accusations made by a group of Taiwan Solidarity Union legislators that one particular branch of the institute is receiving preferential treatment while another one suffers from low funding.
TSU legislative caucus whip Luo Chih-ming (
Luo said that, according to Academia Sinica's proposed budget, the Genomics Research Center will receive up to NT$14.5 million (US$450,000), but the Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology was only allotted NT$1.89 million.
Moreover, he said, on average, the travel budget for researchers working in the genomics center is NT$390,000 per person while the institute's researchers only receive a little more than NT$60,000 per person.
Academia Sinica Vice President Andrew Wang (
Also, since the center is still new, the institute must send people abroad in the search for new talent, he said.
He added most researchers apply for travel grants from the National Science Council (NSC) but when the NSC runs out of money, the institute foots the bill.
Another reason for the discrepancy is that people in different positions fly in different classes.
Wang agreed to give the TSU caucus a detailed report on the institute's spending in one week to prove that each branch was being dealt with fairly.
The former director of the Genomics Research Center, biochemist Wong Chi-huey (