Publications by Chinese researchers in scientific journals have dramatically increased over the past decade; however, academic misconduct also becomes more prevalent in the country. The aim of this prospective study was to understand the perceptions of Chinese biomedical researchers towards academic misconduct and the trend from 2010 to 2015. A questionnaire comprising 10 questions was designed and then validated by ten biomedical researchers in China. In the years 2010 and 2015, respectively, the questionnaire was sent as a survey to biomedical (...) researchers at teaching hospitals, universities, and medical institutes in mainland China. Data were analyzed by the Chi squared test, one-way analysis of variance with the Tukey post hoc test, or Spearman’s rank correlation method, where appropriate. The overall response rates in 2010 and 2015 were 4.5% and 5.5%, respectively. Data from 15 participants in 2010 were invalid, and analysis was thus performed for 1263 participants. Among the participants, 54.7% thought that academic misconduct was serious-to-extremely serious, and 71.2% believed that the Chinese authorities paid no or little attention to the academic misconduct. Moreover, 70.2 and 65.2% of participants considered that the punishment for academic misconduct at the authority and institution levels, respectively, was not appropriate or severe enough. Inappropriate authorship and plagiarism were the most common forms of academic misconduct. The most important factor underlying academic misconduct was the academic assessment system, as judged by 50.7% of the participants. Participants estimated that 40.1% of published scientific articles were associated with some form of academic misconduct. Their perceptions towards academic misconduct had not significantly changed over the 5 years. Reform of the academic assessment system should be the fundamental approach to tackling this problem in China. (shrink)
At Shantou University in 2008, a stand-alone engineering ethics course was first included within a Conceive–Design–Implement–Operate curriculum to address the scarcity of engineering ethics education in China. The philosophy of the course design is to help students to develop an in-depth understanding of social sustainability and to fulfill the obligations of engineers in the twenty-first century within the context of CDIO engineering practices. To guarantee the necessary cooperation of the relevant parties, we have taken advantage of the top-down support from (...) the STU administration. Three themes corresponding to contemporary issues in China were chosen as the course content: engineers’ social obligations, intellectual property and engineering safety criteria. Some popular pedagogies are used for ethics instruction such as case studies and group discussions through role-playing. To impart the diverse expertise of the practical professional practice, team teaching is adopted by interdisciplinary instructors with strong qualifications and industrial backgrounds. Although the assessment of the effectiveness of the course in enhancing students’ sense of ethics is limited to assignment reports and class discussions, our endeavor is seen as positive and will continue to sustain the CDIO reform initiatives of STU. (shrink)
Understanding the neural basis of schizophrenia (SZ) is important for shedding light on the neurobiological mechanisms underlying this mental disorder. Structural and functional alterations in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), hippocampus, and medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) have been implicated in the neurobiology of SZ. However, the effective connectivity among them in SZ remains unclear. The current study investigated how neuronal pathways involving these regions were affected in first-episode SZ using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Forty-nine patients (...) with a first-episode of psychosis and diagnosis of SZ—according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision—were studied. Fifty healthy controls (HCs) were included for comparison. All subjects underwent resting state fMRI. We used spectral dynamic causal modeling (DCM) to estimate directed connections among the bilateral ACC, DLPFC, hippocampus, and MPFC. We characterized the differences using Bayesian parameter averaging (BPA) in addition to classical inference (t-test). In addition to common effective connectivity in these two groups, HCs displayed widespread significant connections predominantly involved in ACC not detected in SZ patients, but SZ showed few connections. Based on BPA results, SZ patients exhibited anterior cingulate cortico-prefrontal-hippocampal hyperconnectivity, as well as ACC-related and hippocampal-dorsolateral prefrontal-medial prefrontal hypoconnectivity. In summary, spectral DCM revealed the pattern of effective connectivity involving ACC in patients with first-episode SZ. This study provides a potential link between SZ and dysfunction of ACC, creating an ideal situation to associate mechanisms behind SZ with aberrant connectivity among these cognition and emotion-related regions. (shrink)
Scientists normally earn less money than many other professions which require a similar amount of training and qualification. The economic theory of marginal utility and cost-benefit analysis can be applied to explain this phenomenon. Although scientists make less money than entertainment stars, the scientists do research work out of their interest and they also enjoy a much higher reputation and social status in some countries.