Newsletter No. 155

CUHK Newsletter 2 No. 155 4th December 1999 Social Pol icies to Reconcile Cap i tal and People E ntitled 'The Needs of Capital and the Needs of People: Can the Welfare State Reconcile the Two?', a recent Wei Lun lecture addressed questions such as the extent to which the needs of capital and the needs of people are antagonistic, if either is global or universal or if they reflect national and cultural differences, and i f the welfare state can continue to reconcile the two. The lecture was delivered by Prof. Ian Roger Gough, professor o f social p o l i cy f r om the Department of Social and Policy Sciences at the University of Bath in the UK , on 19th November at the University. Prof. Gough put forward a relatively optimistic interpretation o f what welfare states can do to reconcile the needs of people and the needs of capital in a globalizing economy, based on the idea that social policy is potentially a competitive asset in the modem world. He concluded that different countries develop different capitalisms with varying interests and welfare outcomes. The contemporary issue, he believes, is to construct new social policies which can reconcile the needs of capital and the needs of people. Born in 1942 and educated in economics at Cambridge University, Prof. Gough taught for many years at Manchester University before being appointed professor of social policy at the University of Bath in 1995. He is author of over 70 books and articles on state policy, political economy, human welfare, and comparative social policies. Conference to Promote Remote Sensing The Joint Laboratory for Geoinformation Science of the University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences hosted the 20th Asian Conference on Remote Sensing and a series of anniversary celebration programmes of the Asian Association on Remote Sensing (AARS) on behalf of the Chinese Association for Science and Technology and the Ministry of Science and Technology from 22nd to 25th November at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Over 450 officials, scholars, and professionals from the wo r ld over attended the conference w h i ch c omp r i s ed over 50 sessions o f workshops, seminars, technical reports, and youth forums. Prof. Zhuo Guangzhao, vice president of the National People's Congress, and the Honourable Tung Chee Hwa, Chief Executive of the HKSAR were the honorary chairmen. The keynote speakers included Prof. Chen Shupeng, an expert on remote sensing and adviser to the Environment Committee of the State Council of China, Dr. Jack Dangermond, president and founder of the Environment System Research Institute in the US, and Dr. d'Iorio of the Canadian Centre for Remote Sensing. To promote the development of technology and education on remote sensing in Hong Kong, the local organizing committee prepared free workshops for secondary teachers and students, and an exhibition featuring advanced technologies on satellite and aerial remote sensing, geographical information systems , and global position systems. A B o o s t e r f o r Local Religious Education A project entitled 'Religious Education: In Search of Education for Quality L i f e' sponsored by the Quality Education Fund and conducted by the Department of Religion was officially launched on 6th November. Over 20 schools of different religious backgrounds have been invited to take part in a two-year school partnership scheme, including Islamic, Taoist, Buddhist, Confucian, Catholic, and Protestant schools. CU teachers w i ll work with religious education teachers in these schools to develop teaching materials with the aim of enabling frontline religious education teachers in Hong Kong to mutually enrich one another's teaching. The project w i ll also produce inter-religious teaching materials, set up a Multi-media Computer Training and Production Workshop, a Religious Education Website (http:// and a Resource Centre for Teaching Materials. It runs a Civic, Ethical, and Religious Education column in the South China Morning Post, host Q & A pages on Hong Kong Cyber Campus, and works with different organizations to produce religious education materials. What Captures the Attention of Clinical Pharmacologists I n his inaugural lecture entitled ' C l i n i c al Pharmacologists: The Jacks of A l l Trades', professor o f clinical pharmacology J.A.J.H. Critchley reviewed some interesting aspects of clinical pharmacological research including the drugs and chemicals commonly taken in overdose or i n v o l v ed i n p o i s o n i ng i n H o ng K o n g. Examples o f these are paracetamol, aspirin, De t t o l, vegetable-borne insecticides, and ciguatera fish poisoning. He pointed out that differences in the metabolism of drugs between individuals is much greater than any overall differences between races, which are only trivial. Other clinical pharmaoclogical studies show close inter-relationships between conditions that are increasing in prevalence in Hong Kong — diabetes, hypertension, and adverse blood fat profiles, and find that obesity and insulin resistance are common underlying features. Prof. Critchley pointed out that despite the high prevalence of adverse cardiovascular risk factors, the proportion of patients w i th ischaemic heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, or thromboembolic disease is surprisingly low in Hong Kong compared to the UK. In the last part o f his lecture, Prof. Critchley reported that clinical trials have demonstrated the potential benefits of many drugs but clinical pharmacists have shown that medicines are often not wisely used or not taken at all. The lecture was delivere d on 9th November in LT2, Sino Building. Prof. Critchley (middle) with Prof. Sydney Chung (left) and Prof. Arthur K.C. Li (right) First APEC Study Centre i n HKSAR Set Up at CUHK The first official APEC Study Centre of the HKSAR was established at the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies (HKIAPS) in early November. Prof. Yeung Yue-man, director of HKIAPS, was appointed the chief coordinator of the new centre. Through the centre the University w i ll help strengthen the international consortium of APEC Study Centres in the Asia-Pacific region and foster research collaboration between institutions of higher learning in Hong Kong and the Asia-Pacific region. The centre w i ll also help the HK S AR government conduct studies and research on areas that may facilitate Hong Kong's socio-economic linkage with other APEC economies, participate in activities organized by the international APEC Study Centre consortium, initiate local research, engage in joint projects of a sub-regional nature, and serve as an information and resource centre for scholars, policy makers, and the general public. Scholars from the University and other research centres in Hong Kong w i ll be invited to participate in research projects. Regular workshops, study sessions, conferences on APEC-related topics w i ll be organized. In April 2000 the HKSAR APEC Study Centre w i ll sponsor a regional conference with HKIAPS on the social, economic, and political aspects of the region in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis. Tradi t ional Chinese Diet Helps Ward Of f Heart Disease A traditional Chinese diet emphasizing vegetables, plant protein, rice and green tea is protective against atherogenesis, according to a study conducted by the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics which was presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions held on 10th November in Atlanta. The study examined 417 Chinese individuals, aged 18 to 70, living in Hong Kong, Sydney, Macau, San Francisco, and Pan Yu in Guangdong which has one of the lowest heart disease rates in the world. None showed symptoms of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases but the more westernized participants had thicker inner walls in their carotid arteries than those in Pan Yu, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. The study also revealed wide differences in eating patterns, especially in the consumption o f meat. Villagers in Pan Yu consumed less meat protein and dairy products but more vegetables and green tea per 1,000 Kcal intake, compared to westerned Chinese in Hong Kong. Prof. Woo Kam-sang, the study's researcher, pointed out that these results indicate that people should drink more green tea, eat more fruit and vegetables, and plant proteins, and less dairy products and meat.