Newsletter No. 103

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MEDIA, CULTURE, AND THE PUBLIC 'Media, Culture, and the Public' was the theme of the Third International Conference on Cultural Criticism held from 8th to 11th January 1997. The conference was organized by the University's Programme for Hong Kong Cultural Studies in conjunction with the Center for Transcultural Studies, Chicago, and the Workshop on Chinese Cultural Criticism at the Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, Harvard University. Issues of contemporary cultural criticism relating to public space, human rights, media culture, postcolonialism, as well as the relationship between art and i ns t i t u t i on in contemporary cosmopolitan settings were explored. Nineteen papers were delivered by local and overseas academics at three panel sessions — 'Urban Space and Public Culture', 'Media Culture and Public Sphere', and 'Rethinking Colonialism in the Contemporary Context' 一 held at the University. Issues raised during the panel discussions were addressed in a roundtable session on 'Possibilities of the Public'. In addition, two public forums on 'Art, Culture, and Institution' and 'The Culture and Politics of Human Rights' were held at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Cultural workers, critics, and other concerned groups were invited to express their views on Hong Kong's cultural policies and practices in art education, the institutionalization of art, and human rights. More Research Grants T hree research proposals submitted by members of the University recently received funding from the Health Services Research Fund and the Germany/Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme 1996-97. Details are as follows: Project title: Level of and Reasons for Utilizing Accident and Emergency Services by Non-Urgent Patients Sponsor. Health Services Research Fund Amount awarded: HK$790 , 338 CUHK investigators: Prof. Albert Lee, Dr. Clarke Blaine Hazlett Project title: Flow Field-flow Fractionation Studies of Biodegradable Polymers Sponsors'. Research Grants Council and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Amount awarded: HK$20,000, plus a DAAD top-up grant for the German partner CUHK investigator: Prof. Chi Wu Project title: Modernity and Chinese Christianity in the Light of the Sociology of Religion Sponsors'. Research Grants Council and the DAAD Amount awarded: HK$20,000, plus a DAAD top-up grant for the German partner CUHK investigator. Prof. Liu Ziaofeng Two More Clinics Come under the Extra Outpatient Consultation Services Scheme D r. David Wong's clinic in Tsuen Wan and Dr. Cheung Kit-ying's clinic in Ngau Tau Kok have recently been included in the University's Extra Outpatient Consultation Services Scheme. Department and unit heads were notified of the additional clinics in mid-February. There are currently five clinics under the scheme. The University is exploring the possibility of including clinics in other districts to provide greater convenience to staff members. The scheme was implemented in November 1996 on a trial basis and is expected to last until the end of October 1997. As at the end of January 1997, 415 visits have been paid to the three outpatient clinics by CUHK staff and their dependents, and a total of HK$41,420 has been paid out by the University to subsidize such outpatient consultations. The Chinese University Staff Association will conduct a questionnaire survey around June to gauge the response to the scheme. The University also plans to review the scheme during the summer holidays. University Helps Heighten Awareness of Drug Abuse C linicians, scientists, sociologists, educators, and social workers from different parts of the world shared their experience in and knowledge on dealing with the social, psychological, clinical, and biological effects of drug abuse and therapeutic strategies at a conference hosted by the University. The 2nd International Conference on Drug Abuse—Bio-Psycho-Social Perspectives took place from 27th to 30th January in the Sha Tin Town Hall. Dr. Alan Leshner, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse in the US, delivered the keynote speech. Participants from 12 countries discussed deteriorating drug-abuse problems such as the overuse of cough mixture and alcohol abuse. They also examined issues relating to drug policies, drug prevention, and drug education. The first International Conference on Drug Abuse was held in Portugal last April. In view of the escalation of drug abuse in Asia, it was agreed that the second conference be held in Asia to heighten public awareness of the problem. The function was also the first international conference supported by the Hong Kong Government's Beat Drugs Fund. United Annual Workshop Probes Educational Issues O n 12th February, over 180 CUHK staff, students, and members of the public attended the annual workshop of United College on 'University Education and the New Era'. The guest speakers were Prof. Rosie Young, chair of the Education Commission, Mr. Tsang Yok-sing, principal of Pui Kiu Middle School, and Dr. K. K. Luke, senior lecturer at the Department of English, University of Hong Kong. Prof. Man Si- wai of the University's Department of Educational Administration and Policy was the moderator. Important educational issues such as the role of Hong Kong's tertiary education sector in Asia, problems of bridging tertiary and secondary education, and language proficiency were discussed.