Newsletter No. 163

2 No. 163 19th April 2000 CUHK Newsletter All Aspects of Cancer Explored at Combined Oncology and Cancer Meeting A t o t al o f over 250 delegates from Hong Kong and overseas attended the 17th Meeting of the International Academy of Tumour Marker Oncology that was held in combination with the F i f t h A n n u al Sc i e n t i f ic Symposium o f the Hong K o n g Cancer I n s t i t u te ( HKC I) on 23rd and 24th Ma r ch at the Ro y al Plaza Ho t e l. Combining the events allowed the local organizing committee to invite 15 internationally renowned overseas speakers to Hong Kong. The Academy's 17th meeting was hosted by the CUHK Department of Clinical Oncology, while the symposium of the HKCI was jointly organized w i th the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, one of the first borne fruits of the agreement of academic partnership signed between the two universities last September. The combined event provided an excellent f o r um for exchange and learning, covering many aspects of cancer from the molecular level to the clinical, encompassing a wide range of topics such as virology, genetics, plasma diagnostics, tumour markers, treatment, and prevention. Special emphasis was given to tumour markers. A t the end of the meeting, Prof. Philip Johnson, chairman of the local organizing committee and director of HKC I, was conferred a Distinguished Award by the International Academy of Tumour Marker Oncology in recognition of his outstanding work i n the field of tumour marker research. Student Elizabeth Pang (left2) won first prize in the poster competition at the symposium New Asia-Yale Student Exchange F r om 5th to 18th Ma r ch, eight students f r om Yale Un i ve r s i ty visited New Asia College under the annual student exchange programme between the college and Yale. As the theme f or this yea r 's exchange was ' Fam i l y ', New As ia College arranged for the Yale delegation to attend four academic talks and to visit various family service organizations. A symposium was also held on the college compus during which the Yale students presented four reports, respectively on 'Let's Talk About Sex-Sexual Freedom and Its Consequences', ' Ame r i can Perspectives on Divorce', 'The African- Ame r i can Fam i l y ', and 'Same-sex Marriage and the American Family'. German Philosopher Visi ts CUHK P rof. Elmar Holenstein, professor of philosophy at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, visited the University's Department of Philosophy from 8th to 15th February under the patronage of the M i n g Yu V i s i t i ng S c h o l a r s Programme of New Asia College. A w o r l d r enowned philosopher specializing in phenomenology and philosophy of l a n g u a g e, P r o f . Holenstein delivered t wo l e c t u r es on campus. The first one is entitled 'The Cultural History of H u m a n i t y : T he Conception of Hegel (1831), of Jaspers ( 1 9 4 9 ), and the C o n t emp o r a ry Conception (2000 )', and the second lecture was on the ph i l o s oph i c al significance of Sigmund Freud. In the first lecture, Prof. Holenstein pointed out that Jasper's conception of c u l t u r a l h i s t o r y s u f f e rs f r om Eurocentrism inherited f r om Hegel desp i te the f o r me r 's e x t en s i ve k n o w l e d g e o f n o n - E u r o p e an philosophies. He then went on to pay homage to Jaspers for his prospective vision that 'all human beings together f o rm one g l o b al c ommu n i c a t i ve community'. He supported his argument b y c o m p a r i ng t he structures o f Mayan, Egyptian, and Chinese wr i t i ngs. These three major wr i t i ng systems have been developed in different parts of the world independently, yet they exhibit remarkable structural resemblance. This serves as evidence f or Jasper's f a i th in humanity as a 'single, great c ommu n i ty o f understanding through all times and continents'. I n the second l ec t u r e, P r o f. Holenstein said that the theme o f sexuality in Freud directs towards the understanding of sociality, corporality, and the genetic conception o f the unconscious, the three basic concepts for a philosophy of the life sciences. And the latter is precisely the key to resolving the recurrent oppos i t i on between the humanities and the natural sciences in the modem era. HK's First Free Lab for Osteoporotic Diagnosis H ong Kong's first laboratory offering free bone density measurements to the elderly and the poor was set up at the Prince of Wales Hospital on 30th March. Equipped w i th advanced diagnosing machines, the Osteoporotic Diagnostic Laboratory offers very cost-effective diagnosis and treatment of high-risk subjects. Osteoporosis is the commonest health problem among Hong Kong's elderly with half the population of elderly women and 30 per cent of elderly men suffering from the problem. Last year, 4,000 elderly subjects fractured their hips. It is projected that this number w i ll increase by 10 per cent every year to double in 10 years. Osteoporosis accounts for at least 15 per cent of health care expenditure in orthopaedic services and 3 per cent of the Hospital Authority expenditure budget.