Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Fan Yun (范雲) yesterday reiterated her call for Academia Sinica to change its name in English and other languages to avoid being confused with the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Speaking at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Fan said that in March she asked the Taipei institute, which has used Academia Sinica as its English name since 1928, to submit a report on the issue within three months.
Many foreigners mistake the institution for the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, given that “Sinica” means “Chinese” in Latin, she said.
Fan said that the institute should establish a dedicated committee within one month to collect opinions from Academia Sinica members and initiate a democratic process to discuss whether its English name should be changed.
If there is to be a name change, the committee should hold discussions about what the new name should be and whether a change would affect the reputation of research conducted there, she said.
Academia Sinica President James Liao (廖俊智) said that administrative units have held extensive discussions about the matter, but opinions have been mixed.
The institution has plans for focused interviews to gauge members’ opinions and is almost ready to start, Liao said.
When evaluating whether the name should be changed, deliberative democracy would be the best approach, Academia Sinica Secretariat Office director Tseng Kuo-hsiang (曾國祥) said, adding that “deliberative democracy” can take many forms, with a consensus conference being one.
“We are leaning more toward deliberative polling,” Tseng said, adding that group discussions and expert consultations would be introduced to weigh in on the matter in a more comprehensive manner.
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