Newsletter No. 156

2 No. 156 19th December 1999 CUHK Newsletter W e i Lun S c h o l a r D i s c u s s es M u l t i c u l t u r a l i sm a n d V a l u e R e l a t i v i sm Prof. Raymond Boudon from the Teaching and Research Unit of Philosophy and Social Sciences of the University of Paris-Sorbonne ( Pa r is I V ) d e l i v e r ed a l e c t u re e n t i t l ed 'Multiculturalism and Value Relativism, in his capacity as Wei Lun Visiting Professor to the University on 7th December 1999. In his lecture, Prof. Boudon argued that recognizing the cultural needs and rights of national, ethnic, and other social groups does not imply a relativistic view of axiological feelings and values. Multicultural ism does not lead to value relativism. Prof. Boudon has been professor at the University of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) since 1967, and is concurrently affiliated with the University of Bordeaux and the National Centre for Scientific Research. He is also editor of the Ann é e Sociologique and the Sociologies series at the Presses Universitaires de France, and a member of the editorial board of the series Theory and Decision, Epist è me. New Achievements in Heart and Lung Surgery The Faculty of Medicine has pioneered the development of minimal access cardiothoracic surgery which greatly reduces the pain arising from surgery and markedly shortens recovery. It also has a profound effect on healthcare economics by shortening hospital stay and allowing patients to return to work earlier. The traditional method of obtaining access into the chest by incision is extremely painful and can be more traumatic than the surgery itself. Postoperative complications are also frequent, and the pain from the incision often persists long after the wound has healed. Patients often have to stay in hospital for many days and are unable to work for weeks. The new method allows the operation to be performed through a few small incisions. Major muscles do not need to be cut and ribs not spread. Postoperative pain is substantially less, and patients can go home a few days following surgery. The Faculty of Medicine has performed over 1,500 minimal invasive thoracic surgical procedures for a variety of chest conditions. These procedures can also be applied in aortic valve replacement, aortic root replacement, and coronary artery bypass grafting. Two New Medical Centres Established New Facility to Deal w i t h Rapid Ageing A Centre for Gerontology and Geriatrics was set up recently at the Prince of Wales Hospital to carry out comprehensive research into the various aspects of the ageing process, the implication of ageing for the Hong Kong population, and the measures to deal with the consequences. Designated an Area of Excellence at the University, the multidisciplinary centre draws on the expertise of the departments of Medicine and Therapeutics, Community and Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Nursing, Sociology, Social Work, and Psychology. Studies currently being conducted by the centre include chronic disease, functional disability, and their economic consequences for Hong Kong; a longitudinal study of the factors for successful ageing; exercise and health; the psychiatric issues of the elderly, and the training of carers. Collaborative Research Centre to Study Stroke Cerebrovascular disease, commonly known as stroke, is one of the top killer diseases among Chinese people. The incidence of stroke in China is higher than in almost any other country in the world, except for Russia and Finland. In Hong Kong, over 10,000 people are killed or disabled every year because of stroke. Medical research has proven that stroke types among the Chinese are different from those among Westerners. The Centre for the Study of Cerebrovascular Disease in Chinese was recently set up by the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics jointly with the Department of Neurology of Peking Union Medical College Hospital and the Institute of Neurology of Shanghai Medical University. The centre w i ll promote the study of the epidemiology and pathophysiology of cerebrovascular diseases in Chinese communities and conduct clinical studies on their prevention and treatment. TDU Workshop on Course Evaluations Twenty-one teachers participated in a teaching cell session entitled 'A Humanistic-Pragmatic Approach to Teaching: It Is Possible to Improve Course Evaluations' organized by the Teaching Development Unit on 3rd November. Prof. Giovanni Moneta of the Department of Psychology shared with the participants his experience of improving course evaluations with the goal of deepening his relationship with his students. S t u d e n t P h y s i c a l a n d P s y c h o l o g i c al H e a l t h Cause for W o r r y A large scale survey on 26,122 primary and secondary school students in Hong Kong revealed worrying trends in the health status of the youngsters. It was found that 14 per cent of the students aged 10 to 20 from 48 schools felt their daily activities were often disrupted by physical and emotional problems. The higher the form of the students the more unhealthy their lifestyles were — 20 per cent did not eat breakfast and nearly 50 per cent did not perform vigorous exercises, with a higher proportion in the older age group for both. Close to 15 per cent had seriously thought of suicide while 16 per cent admitted that they smoked regularly. The results of the survey indicate that there is an urgent need to change the traditional approach to school health education. The researchers propose that health education programmes should provide information and help students explore different values, make health decisions, and acquire skills to enable behaviour change. They believe that the focus of health education should be based on the interaction between the informal and the formal school curriculum, and the practical involvement of teachers, school education administrators, parents, community leaders, and students themselves, besides health professionals. The survey is part of the Healthy Schools Programme supported by the Quality Education Fund and launched by the Department of Community and Family Medicine together with the Hong Kong Subsidized Secondary Schools Council, the Subsidized Primary Schools Council, and the Hong Kong Special Schools Council. One of the key objectives of the programme is to conduct research on the health status of school children in order to assess their health needs. RENDITIONS NO. 52 (Autumn 1999) Essay Remembering: Two Contemporary Essays Ch'i Chun: Chignon; Yu Qiuyu: The Message Man translated by D.E. Pollard F i c t i on Eileen Chang: Steamed Osmanthus Flower ‧ Ah Xiao's Unhappy Autumn translated by Simon Patton Stories Wan Zhi: Three Stories (Mystery, Sand, and in the Distance, Snow) translated by Bonnie S. McDougall and Kam Louie Yuan Qiongqiong: Fever translated by Felice Marcus Poetry Du Fu: A Song of Painting: To General Cao Ba translated by David Lunde Zhai Youngming: Jing'an Village translated by Tony Prince and Tao Naikan Published by the Research Centre for Translation Renditions No. 52, November 1999, 134 pages, HK$99 The book is sold at a 20 per cent discount to staff members at the University bookshop, John Fulton Centre. Website: