Academia Sinica members are concerned the institution’s widely used Latin name might cause foreign researchers to mistakenly assume it is based in China, and it is deliberating a new name.
The institution plans to raise the issue at the legislature today, sources said, adding that Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Fan Yun (范雲) had also brought the issue up with Academia Sinica President James Liao (廖俊智) during a meeting of the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee in March last year.
Academia Sinica has sometimes been confused with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, as its Latin name translates to “Chinese Academy” in English, Fan said at the time.
Photo: Yang Yuan-ting, Taipei Times
Liao promised to ensure that Academia Sinica members discuss a name change, and has since formed an ad hoc committee for that purpose, which has met four times.
The committee in August drafted a report on proposed names, which was sent to researchers at the institution to discuss, sources said.
One proposal was to add the word “Taiwan” to the end of the existing name, so it would be titled “Academia Sinica, Taiwan.” Another was a direct translation of the institution’s Chinese name, making it the “Central Research Academy,” while other proposals were the “Taiwan Academy of Sciences” or the “Academy of Sciences Taiwan.”
In its report, the committee confirmed that confusion had been caused by the institution’s name, but said that there were some benefits to leaving it unchanged.
For example, the name is already associated with scientific achievements, so keeping it would ensure Taiwan’s reputation remains stable within the international academic community, whereas changing it would come with associated costs, the report said.
Changing it might also result in difficulties when cooperating with Chinese researchers, it said.
However, changing it would ensure that Taiwan receives credit for its outstanding research, the report said, adding that the committee found that most people asked about the proposals were in favor of adding “Taiwan” to the end of the name.
Fan on Saturday commended the institution for its progress on the matter, and said she welcomed further deliberation by all Academia Sinica members and researchers.
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