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Protect scientific experiments

Updated: 2014-10-24 07:50
(China Daily)

The departments of agricultural sciences should take concrete measures to protect agricultural produce while conducting scientific experiments, says an article in Guangzhou Daily. Excerpts:

The apples grown on three trees in a suburb of Qingdao in Shandong province as part of an experiment with a new type of seeds and planting techniques by Qingdao Academy of Agricultural Sciences were stolen before the scientists could harvest them. The thieves must have sold the apples in exchange for some money, but the value of the apples for scientists was far beyond what the thieves might have got.

According to the academy, the new seeds, if the experiment was successful, would have enabled apple growers to save about 3,000 yuan ($500) per mu (666.7 square meters).

Such thefts happen frequently. More than 100 kilograms of peaches were stolen from an "experiment farm" where researchers from Zhengzhou agriculture science departments were working in 2012. Grapes of an expensive breed, which had undergone experimental cultivation for 10 years in a Beijing suburb, were stolen overnight in 2003. These thefts did not only harm scientific work, but also left the country poorer as far as research into agricultural products is concerned.

The agricultural science departments should learn a lesson from such thefts and strengthen security measures in and around farms where they conduct experiments. The least they can do is to paste posters around such farms giving the details of their experiments and the potential benefits the results could bring to the people. This will raise people's consciousness and help protect the common wealth of the nation.

Also, an accountability system is needed for academy administrators that suffer heavy losses.

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