Newsletter No. 137

WeiLunLectures T wo experts in surgery and policy analysis respectively visited the University in November and December and delivered lectures in their capacity as Wei Lun Visiting Professor to the University. World Renowned Surgeon Reflects on Life as Editor Prof. Thomas B. Ferguson, Emeritus Professor o f Surgery at Washington Un i v e r s i ty School o f Med i c i ne in Missouri, and expert in pulmonary, oesophageal and cardiac diseases, reviewed his 14-year experience as the editor o f an international medical journal, The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, on 4th December. In his lecture entitled 'Some Observations on Scientific Pub l i sh i ng ', Prof. Ferguson considered various types of publishing mischief that an editor encounters, r ang i ng f r om plagiarism and wilful falsification of data to ill- conceived and poorly executed studies. He also discussed what constitutes a good scientific contribution. Prof. Ferguson received his undergraduate and medical education at Duke University. He then underwent medical residency training in physiology, general surgery and thoracic surgery at Harvard Medical School, Duke University, and Barnes Hospital. He started teaching in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1953 and is well-known for his clinical excellence in cardiac and general thoracic surgery. He became an editor of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery in 1984. Policy Expert Examines Marketization of Education Prof. Stephen J. Ball, director of the Centre for Public Policy Research, School of Education, King's College London, delivered a lecture entitled 'Global Trends in Educational Reform and the Struggle for the Soul of the Teacher' on 27th November. The lecture explored the current trend in education policy towards more 'business-like' methods of delivery of education via the 'market form' and the involvement of corporations. The rationale for the marketization of education was considered. Prof. Ball argued that such changes were not simply technical or organizational, but also moral and ethical. He also considered the implications of these shifts for citizenship and economic competitiveness. Prof. Ball obtained his BA at the University of Essex, his MA and Ph.D. at the University of Sussex. Before joining King's College London as professor of education in 1989, he was reader in the sociology of education at the University of London. Since 1997 he has been director of the Centre for Public Policy Research at King's College London. Prof. Ball is known for his development of a f o rm o f po l i cy analysis termed ' p o l i cy sociology', which has brought the theories and methods of sociology, particularly qualitative sociology, to bear upon policy issues. He has also contributed to the accumulation of a set of substantive analyses and the development of a conceptual framework encompassing the market behaviours o f i n s t i t u t i onal p r ov i de rs o f education and the choice behaviours of their clients. Prof. Thomas B. Ferguson Council News A t a Council meeting held on 30th November 1998, members of the University Council accepted Dr. Alice K.Y. Lam's resignation from her appointment as vice-chairman and member of the Council and all her other posts at the University from 1st January 1999. On behalf of the Council and members o f the University, vice- chancellor Prof. Arthur K.C. L i praised Dr. Lam for the very able leadership she had rendered to the University for over two decades, and thanked her for the outstanding contributions she had made in such areas as campus planning, financial management, fund raising, the establishment of foundation funds, and the revamping of staff superannuation schemes. Dr. Lee Hon-chiu, chairman of the University Council, presented a souvenir to Dr. Lam on the same occasion as a token of the University's appreciation of her distinguished service over two decades. Dr. Lam has been appointed as chairperson of the University Grants Committee from 1 st February 1999. Survey Examines Views on Education Issues A phone survey on public attitude towards the education policy of the HKSAR finds that most people endorse the objectives of the current education policy but disagree with the government's choice of means for implementation. The survey interviewed close to 1,000 people by phone from 11th to 15th November. Questions asked are related to controversial issues such as English native-speaking teachers for secondary schools, whole-day primary school, IT education, the Quality Education Fund, and the use of Chinese as the medium of instruction. The findings were released at a press conference on 2nd December by the investigators of the survey, Profs. Leslie Lo and Tsang Wing Kwong. Over ha lf o f the respondents expressed dissatisfaction w i th the government's performance in the past year. The survey also revealed that the younger and better educated respondents were more likely to question the effectiveness of the current education policy. The survey was t he s i x t h p u b l i c o p i n i o n s u r v e y c o n d u c t e d i n connection w i th the various social issues p l a n n e d f o r d i s c u s s i on at the Public Policy Forum o r g a n i z ed by the F a c u l ty o f So c i al Science and the Hong Kong Institute of Asia Pacific Studies on 8th December. HKIB's Pharmaceutical Centre Opens T h e G M P Manufacturing Technology Centre of the Hong Kong I n s t i t u t e o f B i o t e c h n o l o g y ( H K I B ) w a s formally opened on 2 7 th No v emb e r. The establishment of the centre makes p o s s i b l e t h e p r o d u c t i o n o f human vaccines and biopharmaceuticals in Hong Kong for clinical trials. An R & D centre w i t h collaborators and sponsors as pronounced as the US National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization, HK I B provides technical support services on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) implementation to the local pharmaceutical industry to upgrade manufacturing processes. The GMP Manufacturing Technology Centre is certified by the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia and registered with the US Food & Drug Administration via a Type I Drug Master File. At present, the centre is developing vaccines for malaria and schistosomiasis, two of the most prevalent diseases in developing countries. Guests at the opening ceremony: (from left) Dr. Albert Y. Chang, director of HKIB; Mr. Lo Yuk-lam, chairman of the Biotechnology Committee of the Industry and Technology Development Council; Mr. Francis Ho, director-general of the Industry Department of the HKSAR; Mr. Neil Maidment, member of the Board of Directors of HKIB; and Prof. Arthur K.C. Li, vice-chancellor of CUHK