Caixin
Jul 21, 2020 07:34 PM
POLITICS & LAW

Vice Premier Sends Team to Investigate Mass Resignations of Scientists

What’s new: China’s Vice Premier Liu He said on Tuesday that the State Council would dispatch a team to investigate mass resignations at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Physical Science in Hefei, East China’s Anhui province, according to the academy’s official website (link in Chinese).

On Sunday, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the world’s largest research body, sent a task force to its Hefei branch (link in Chinese) in response to various media reports that more than 90 nuclear scientists resigned en masse in June.

The cause of the collective resignation is unclear. According to Chinese media reports, two key factors may have contributed to the decision by scientists at the Institute of Nuclear Energy Safety Technology (INEST) to resign. One is that the institute could not secure big research projects due to a lack of funds, and the other is that the scientists were “poached” and left for better jobs.

The background: The mass resignations at INEST have drawn widespread public attention as the institution, which specializes in advanced nuclear energy and safety technology, currently participates in over 200 national and international projects, including the National Key R&D Program of China and cooperation projects with the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to its website.

INEST, a hub of leading Chinese scientists, claims to have around 600 members, of whom 80% hold PhD degrees.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact editor Heather Mowbray (heathermowbray@caixin.com)

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