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2007 CAS member election kicks off

 

The election of new CAS members (including foreign members) in 2007 started on January 18, announced the CAS Academic Divisions (CASAD).

Established in 1955, CASAD currently has 691 members. In light of the Bylaws for the CAS Members, reform has been introduced into the elections since the 1990s. The Presidium of CASAD has amended the Rules concerning the election several times, making more strict stipulations on the standards and qualifications of CAS members and the election procedures. The enforcement of the Rule over the past years has made the election more scientific, standardized and institutional, leading to the successful and smooth elections, according to the announcement.

With an objective of identifying suitable prominent Chinese scientists, the election in 2007 will be conducted on the principle of fairness, openness, and impartiality and from the general interests of the S&T undertakings of the whole country, says a briefing of CASAD. According to the decision of the CASAD Presidium, the quota for the new members in 2007 will be no more than 60, including 10 for the Academic Division of Mathematics and Physics, 10 for the Academic Division of Chemistry, 12 for the Division of Life Sciences and Medicine, 10 for the Academic Division of Earth Sciences, seven for the Academic Division of Information Technical Sciences, and 11 for the Academic Division of Technical Sciences.

To further enhance the qualification of the election, the Presidium has carried out in-depth investigations into the election and further improved the relevant mechanisms and measures.

1.Normalization of nomination procedures

The newly amended Rule for the CAS member election has made more specific and clear stipulations, including the establishment of a screening panel for the nominations by departments for preliminary election their respective administrative systems. The panel should be composed of no less than 11 members, who should be research fellows and professor-level researchers in the field of science and technology. Within the quota previously fixed, only those winning more than half of the votes could be chosen as valid candidates. The panel should submit review statements with a list of the panelists, vote results and evaluation statement with the signatures or seals of the panel chairs. It also stipulates that the candidates nominated by the institutions shall be older than 65 years of age.

The Presidium lays down a strict rule on the nominators for CAS members. Each CAS Member is allowed to make no more than two nominations. To be valid, a nomination shall be jointly proposed by three or more Members, of whom at least two shall belong to the Division to which the nomination is submitted. When a nominee is over 65 years of age, to be valid, the petition shall be signed by six or more Members, of whom at least four shall belong to the Division to which the petition is submitted. At the same time, each Member is required to make his or her own decision during the nomination in line with the standards and qualifications and to avoid "passive recommendations." They are required to have a sufficient knowledge of the nominees in terms of research realms, scholarship and contribution. Nominators are required to independently write their Nominations, and make clarifications in writing in case that their nominations receive complaints.

2. Public notice and supervision

To put the accuracy of the nomination documents under the supervision of the public, especially that of the nominee"s employers and peers, the Rule prescribes that the CASAD General Office send all the Members a slate of the valid candidates for the election, and put it on the CASAD website and other media. At the same time, the General Office is required to inform the institutions making the nomination or the employers of the nominees to publicize related information about the valid candidates at their institutions together with information about the valid candidates working in different institutions but in the same academic area. After the public notice, nominating Members and institutions are allowed to submit, within the time limit, a written objection against a nominee when he or she is found disqualified as a valid candidate. Considerations of the nominee may be terminated upon the approval of the standing committee of the concerned Division and the Presidium (or the executive committee of the Presidium).

3. Raising the rate of favorable votes to increase the public acceptance

To make the consideration and election valid at each Division, the Rule requires that the number of Members attending the voting exceed half of the total number of Members who should participate in the election. And those winning at least two thirds of the votes shall be entered on the slate of elected Members in rank order, up to the quota previously fixed for the Division. This is considered a major change in the member election, meaning that the successful candidates should have higher recognition and the approval of a vast majority.

4. Fighting against misconducts

To guarantee the quality of the member election, the Rule requires that no improper activity in violation of the Bylaws for the Members for the Chinese Academy of Sciences and related regulations is allowed during the election. Any violation shall be dealt with sternly, including the removal of the name of the wrongdoers from the list of candidates, or their temporary disqualification as nominators.

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