Academia Sinica is to confer coveted academician membership only to distinguished academics who are Republic of China (ROC) citizens starting next year, its spokesman Kenneth Wu (伍焜玉) said yesterday.
His comment came a day after the institution announced the change to qualification rules in a news release marking the opening of the 34th Convocation of Academicians.
Candidates for becoming academicians would be required to state whether they are Republic of China citizens in writing during the application process for next year, but the rule change does not affect this year’s convocation, he said.
Photo: Yang Yuan-ting, Taipei Times
The institution is mulling the establishment of foreign and honorary academicians as separate honors from national academicians, which would require the legislature to amend the Organic Act of the Academia Sinica (中央研究院組織法), he said.
As the creation of new types of academicians would be a significant change for the institution, it would proceed cautiously with a mind to building a consensus, he added.
Academicianship is a lifelong, non-remunerated position granted to academics of Chinese descent in recognition of outstanding achievement regardless of their citizenship.
Citing the Nationality Act (國籍法), some academicians said that the nation’s citizenship laws are based on descent, which means anyone with a parent born in China before 1949 is legally a citizen of the Republic of China
“This qualifies half of China as potential candidates for academicianship,” they said, suggesting that Academia Sinica should specify that academicians must have a Republic of China passport or national identification card.
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