Sci­en­tist re­signs over con­flict of in­ter­est claims

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Dr. Jann-yeng Liu ( ), a top sci­en­tist at Tai­wan’s Na­tional Space Or­ga­ni­za­tion ( NSPO), re­signed Wed­nes­day af­ter it was re­ported that he had ac­cepted part-time em­ploy­ment in China in con­flict with his sub­stan­tive post.

It was dis­cov­ered that Liu, a chief sci­en­tist at NSOP un­der the Na­tional Ap­plied Re­search Lab­o­ra­tory (NARLabs), had been work­ing part-time at Bei­jing Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy with­out NARLabs’ ap­proval and in vi­o­la­tion of its reg­u­la­tions.

Liu sub­mit­ted his res­ig­na­tion as NSPO chief sci­en­tist Wed­nes­day, ahead of a per­son­nel ex­am­i­na­tion meet­ing at NARLabs sched­uled for Thurs­day morn­ing.

A pro­fes­sor at Na­tional Cen­tral Uni­ver­sity, Liu is known for his re­search and ex­per­tise on earth­quake pre­cur­sors and iono­spheric ra­dio science. He was em­ployed by NARLabs in 2012 as a chief sci­en­tist in charge of space science devel­op­ment strate­gies and in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion projects.

A spe­cial­ist in earth­quake fore­cast­ing re­search, Liu was first in­vited to China by Bei­jing Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy in 1999 to con­duct re­search on dis­as­ter pre­ven­tion and earth­quake pre­cur­sors. The in­vi­ta­tion was is­sued in the wake of a deadly earth­quake in Tai­wan on Sept. 21 that year.

Im­pressed by Liu’s ex­per­tise, Bei­jing Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy in 2013 rec­om­mended him for em­ploy­ment in China’s over­seas ex­perts re­cruit­ment pro­gram, where he worked with ex­perts from the United States, Ja­pan, Italy, and main­land China on earth­quake pre­cur­sors in the Bei­jing re­gion.

NARLabs re­cently re­ceived re­ports ac­cus­ing Liu of vi­o­lat­ing the reg­u­la­tions on cross-strait aca­demic ex­changes. The re­ports sug­gested that as a chief sci­en­tist in the space or­ga­ni­za­tion, Liu might leak sen­si­tive tech­nolo­gies to his coun­ter­parts.

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