Academicians, the highest title bestowed on scientists in China, at the Chinese Academy of Sciences aren't allowed to publicly express academic opinions unrelated to their own field of expertise, according to a recently updated regulation.
In early August, the CAS, one of China's two elite science and technology institutes, released its newest code of the behavioral norms of its academicians, which was published on the institute's official website.
That's the first-ever amendment of the regulation in the past nine years.
The latest code of conduct, which was approved by the Presidium of the CAS' academic divisions, has six chapters consisting of 33 pieces of detailed requirements.
Compared with its last version released in 2014, the updated one specifically has a new chapter which has listed a series of banned behaviors.
Among them, academicians are prohibited from participating in activities in the name of "academician", unless those activities are organized or related to the CAS, the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and their academic divisions as well as academic associations and academic journals.
In addition, the academicians at the CAS are banned from attending certain social activities, which mostly point to dinner parties or banquets. They are also prohibited to engage in the establishment of non-academic venues which are named after "academician".
Furthermore, CAS' academicians are forbidden from publicly expressing academic opinions which are irrelevant to their own professional fields.
In the first chapter of general principles, the regulation requires academicians to "track and judge the developing trend of science and technology and play an academic leading role" and to take initiative in "key core technologies and industrial development".
Additionally, academicians must abide by various rules and regulations of the CAS and "exercise academicians' rights solemnly and fulfill academicians' obligations concretely".
In terms of part-time work and remuneration, the new version stipulates that academicians cannot seek "improper benefits" by using their title of academicians. At the same time, the part-time work of academicians should be in line with their own energy and time.
If academicians are about to engage in academic evaluation, consultation, teaching, academic exchanges and other activities related to their disciplinary fields based on their professional knowledge, they must be remunerated in accordance with relevant national standards and adhere to the principles of "confidentiality, fairness, and impartiality".
The Chinese Academy of Engineering, the other elite science and technology institutes in the country, released its code of conduct for its academicians in 2020, which includes five chapters consisting of 26 requirements.
Currently, the CAS has 823 Chinese and 128 overseas academicians, while the CAE has 914 Chinese and 110 overseas academicians.