SARS hero Zhong Nanshan named China's best scientist

Updated: 2010-12-09
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Zhong Nanshan, a renowned medical whistle-blower, is among China's 10 best scientists and technicians, the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) announced Monday.
Zhong, director of the Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Diseases in south China's Guangdong Province, is credited with helping to identify and then stem the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
During last year's A/H1N1 flu outbreak, he queried the number of deaths from the disease and said there could be cover-ups. In response, the Ministry of Health ordered all administrative and medical departments to ensure accurate reporting of A/H1N1 flu cases.
He called on the public to be vigilant against the spread of A/H1N1 influenza despite the low death rate from the disease.
He also succeeded in curing a number of SARS and A/H1N1 flu patients, said a document from the CAST.
Zhong, 74, was the oldest of "China's 10 best scientists and technicians." The youngest was Chen Jin, 45, head of the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden of Chinese Academy of Sciences, known for his work in popularizing science, said Li Sen, a senior CAST official.
The only woman laureate, Nyima Zhoima, 46, was a Tibetan botanist who bred the first kind of oil-rich rape in the Tibet Autonomous Region.
Li said the awards were aimed at promoting public respect for the work, knowledge, talent and creation of scientists and technicians.
The 10 scientists and technicians would be awarded gold medals at a ceremony on Dec. 14, said Wang Chunfa, publicity director of the CAST.
The public had been invited to vote for their choices for the best scientists and technicians in China. The CAST had received 3.4 million ballots, including some from Hong Kong and Taiwan, from Sept. 30 to Oct. 14.
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