The ministry made the announcement after Chen Yuan-tsong (陳垣崇), director of Academia Sinica’s Institute of Biomedical Sciences, was released on NT$600,000 bail on Tuesday after being questioned by prosecutors in a corruption investigation.Chen Yuan-tsong is already famous and in fact a movie is being made about him, except he is not being mentioned at all and his part is completely overwritten by Whitey -- in this case, Harrison Ford. Angry Asian Man has the call here:
Chen is suspected of transferring his patented technologies for producing genetic-based diagnostic tests to Phamigene — a biomedical company in which he serves as honorary founder — that then sold two test products to Academia Sinica through two government procurement bids for a total value of NT$15 million (US$467,000).
Prosecutors said Chen’s wife is also a manager at the company.
Under the Government Procurement Act (政府採購法), procurement staff or supervisors must withdraw if they or their spouses, blood relatives or relatives by marriage who live with or share property with them, have vested interests in the a particular procurement.
But the real guy who developed the cure was not a Dr. Robert Stonehill, nor looks anything like Indiana Jones. The real guy is a fellow named Dr. Yuan-Tsong Chen, who developed the treatment with colleagues at the Duke University Medical Center. I learned this from, of all places, Roger Ebert's movie review:In addition to Pompe Disease, Chen has done other awesome work, which is why he's been mentioned in the same sentence with Nobel (Taipei Times with more on the film)(Danny Bloom with a discussion of the White-Asian issues). It totally sucks that Ford somehow couldn't find a talented Asian actor to play the role, though there are many.Dr. Robert Stonehill doesn't exist in real life. The Pompe cure was developed by Dr. Yuan-Tsong Chen and his colleagues while he was at Duke University. He is now director of the Institute of Biomedical Science in Taiwan. Harrison Ford, as this film's executive producer, perhaps saw Stonehill as a plum role for himself; a rewrite was necessary because he couldn't very well play Dr. Chen. The real Chen, a Taiwan University graduate, worked his way up at Duke from a residency to professor and chief of medical genetics at the Duke University Medical Center. He has been mentioned as a Nobel candidate.Ebert also speculates that Dr. Chen might have been inspired a more interesting character than Dr. Stonehill. But I suppose Harrison Ford, who also serves as the film's executive producer, isn't the first guy that comes to mind for the role of "Taiwanese Scientist." Thus, the rewrite. Ah, what could've been.
Meanwhile, back to the indictment. Ask yourself if this brilliant scientist moved to Taiwan and suddenly became corrupt and venal. Think maybe not? I've heard on the background that he transferred the product to this firm because it appears to be the only one in Taiwan that can make the product. The real problem, as the government appears to have correctly diagnosed, in this case, is that the laws governing the relationships between universities and corporations hinder transfer of commercializable technology.
- Kerim over at Savage Minds with some thoughts on universities in Taiwan
- CAP's Lilly on Taiwan and the US
- Our falling birthrate from the Taipei Times
- AFP reports tens of thousands at ECFA protest today in Taipei, as does Reuters.
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