Science Squirrels Club to the rescue
Updated: 2011-07-13 07:52
By Liu Zhihua (China Daily)
About five months ago, Zhao Dongxing, a medical student at Shanghai Jiaotong University, started taking notice of the popular health writer Ma Yueling, who is now under investigation by the Nanjing health authorities.
"She showed up on a TV program and what she said appeared to be utter nonsense," Zhao says.
"Anyone with medical training will realize she is completely wrong, although initially they may think she sounds reasonable."
Zhao, a registered writer of Science Squirrels Club - enthusiasts who aim to make science accessible to all - proposed at a routine club meeting that they should do something to stop Ma.
The club decided to post a series of essays analyzing and exposing Ma's deceptions on its website songshuhui.net.
From March 12, dozens of articles were posted on the website, revealing the absurdity of Ma's assertions.
"Her trickery has a typical pattern: First, plagiarize some basic theories from traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine, then elaborate and distort them, and then brag that she has cured sufferers with incurable diseases - simply to impress people," says Zhao Chengyuan, a surgeon at Peking University First Hospital, who was instrumental in exposing Ma.
Zhao says he was incredulous to learn that Ma had said the blood of a mother flowed directly into a fetus through the umbilical cord and helped the baby's blood circulation system develop.
"Even a high school student should know a baby's blood is not the same as the mother's, for the simple reason that a baby's blood type is not necessarily the same as the mother's," Zhao says.
"We cannot allow her to continue bragging that she can cure incurable diseases. She will do great harm," Zhao says.
The club's efforts have borne fruit. To date, their articles have attracted 375,000 views and received hundreds of comments and thanks.
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