Taipei, July 5 (CNA) Twelve of 20 newly elected academicians of Academia Sinica, Taiwan's top research institute, are locally based scholars, including the first surgeon, Academia Sinica President Chi-Huey Wong said Thursday.
The highly respected position is one of the top honors in Taiwan's academia. The academicians, divided into three groups based on their expertise, make policies on academic research at the biennial convocation.
Wong said he welcomes the fact that more local scholars are elected. Two years ago, nine of 18 academicians elected worked in Taiwan.
Wei Fu-chan, a surgeon and professor at Chang Gung University College of Medicine, became the first scholar of the surgery background to be elected.
"(This) is indeed the biggest encouragement" to the local surgery community, whose morale had been low for a long time, said Wei.
Wei's being elected also overturned the misconception that surgeons cannot conduct researches, said academicians Michael Lai and Chen Pei-jer, who are also doctors.
In the life sciences division, Hsieh Tao-shih, director of the Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology at Academia Sinica, and his student Cheng Soo-cheng, a research fellow at the Institute of Molecular Biology, were both elected.
Among the physical sciences academicians elects were Ma Tso-ping, co-director of the Yale Center for Microelectronic Materials and Structures, and Sun-Yung Alice Chang, chair of the Department of Mathematics at Princeton University.
Four other elected -- from humanities and social sciences -- included Hsieh Chang-Tai, economics professor at Booth School of Business, University of Chicago; Fan Jianqing, a professor of finance at Princeton; and Academia Sinica research fellows Shih Shou-chien and Chu Yun-han.
(By Chen Chih-chung, Chen Ching-fang and Kendra Lin)