Twelve of 20 newly elected academicians at Academia Sinica, the nation’s top research institute, are locally based, including its first surgeon, Academia Sinica president Wong Chi-huey (翁啟惠) said. The position is one of the most prestigious in Taiwanese academia.
The academicians, divided into three groups based on their expertise, make policies on academic research at a biennial convocation.
Wong said on Thursday that he welcomed the fact that more local academics were elected. Two years ago, nine of 18 academicians elected worked in Taiwan.
Wei Fu-chan (魏福全), a surgeon and professor at Chang Gung University College of Medicine, became the first surgeon to be elected.
“This is the biggest possible encouragement” for local surgeons, whose morale has been low for a long time, he said.
Wei’s election also countered the misconception that surgeons cannot conduct research, said academics Michael Lai (賴明詔) and Chen Pei-jer (陳培哲), who are also doctors.
In the life sciences division, Hsieh Tao-shih (謝道時), director of the Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology at Academia Sinica, and his student, Cheng -Soo-cheng (鄭淑珍), a research fellow at the Institute of Molecular Biology, were both elected.
Among the physical sciences, Ma Tso-ping (馬佐平), co-director of the Yale Center for Microelectronic Materials and Structures, and Alice Chang (張聖容), chair of the Department of Mathematics at Princeton University, were elected.
Four other academicians elected — from the humanities and social sciences — were Hsieh Chang-Tai (謝長泰), an economics professor at Booth School of Business, University of Chicago; Fan Jian-qing (范劍青), a professor of finance at Prince-ton; and Academia Sinica research fellows Shih Shou-chien (石守謙) and Chu Yun-han (朱雲漢).