Newsletter No. 215

An Oasis of Calm for Cancer Patients T he first state-of-the-art Cancer Patient Resource Centre was opened at the Prince of Wales Hospital on 8th January 2003 to cater for the psychological and social needs of up to 4,000 to 5,000 new patients diagnosed with cancer each year at the hospital. The 4,000-square feet facility is designed in accordance with the concept of an 'oasis of calm' and w i l l offer counselling and support programmes for cancer patients and their families. It boasts advanced facilities for the management of the disease and will provide up-to-the- minute cancer information. The centre is set up by the Hong Kong Cancer Fund with assistance from the University's Department of Clinical Oncology. Mrs. Betty Tung, wife of the Chief Executive of the HKSAR, officiated at the opening ceremony held on 11th January. Other guests included Mrs. Sally Lo, chairman of the Hong Kong Cancer Fund, Dr. Ko Wing- man, director of professional services and public affairs of the Hospital Authority, Dr. Fung Hong, cluster chief executive of New Territories East, Prof. Sydney Chung, dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the University, and Prof. Anthony Chan, chairman and chief of service of the Department of Clinical Oncology. Forum to Boost Research into Communicative Disorders S cholars from local universities and professionals from the medical, educational, and business sectors took part in a forum on 'Prospects for Communicative Research in Hong Kong' to promote collaboration in communicative research. Held on 11th December at the Prince of Wales Hospital, the event was organized by the Cooperative Centre for Communicative Research of the Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Sigfrid Soli from the House Ear Institute in the US, who is also v i s i t i ng p r o f es sor o f otorhinolaryngology at the University, was the special guest at the forum. The participants discussed the development of communicative research in Hong Kong and the current situation on the mainland. A network for future interdisciplinary collaboration on research projects was also formed. The C U H K C o o p e r a t i ve C e n t re f o r Communicative Research was set up in March 2002 to promote and coordinate national and international cooperative research in the field of communicative sciences, and to organize educational activities in the treatment and rehabilitation of communicative disorders related to hearing, speech, and language. The centre has already initiated and conducted academic exchanges and research projects w i th over 20 universities, research institutions, and hospitals in mainland China, Southeast Asia, Japan, Korea, Australia, South Africa, and America. Service to the Community and International Organizations • Prof. Lam Kin-che, chairman of the Department of Geography and Resource Management, has been appointed by the Chief Executive of the HKSAR as the chairman of the Advisory Council on the Environment for two years from 1st January 2003. • Prof. Wong Tze-wai, professor in the Department of Community and Family Medicine, has been appointed by the Chief Executive of the HKSAR as a member of the Advisory Council on the Environment for two years from 1st January 2003. • Prof. Kenneth Lee Kwing-chin, professor in the School of Pharmacy, has been appointed by the Chief Executive of the HK S AR as a member of the Action Committee Against Narcotics for two years from 1st January 2003. • Prof. Daniel Shek Tan-lei, professor in the Department of Social Work, has been appointed by the Chief Executive of the HKSAR as a member of the Action Committee Against Narcotics for two years from 1st January 2003. • Prof. Ching Pak-chung, professor of electronic engineering, has been re-appointed by the Financial Secretary of the HKSAR as a member of the Consumer Council for two years from 1st January 2003. He has also been reappointed as a member of the Electronics Projects Vetting Committee for the Innovation and Technology Support Programme under the Innovation and Technology Fund for two years from 1st January 2003. • Prof. Kenneth Young, pro-vice-chancellor, has been appointed by the Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food as a member of the Radiation Board for one year from 1st December 2002. • Prof. Xu Yangsheng, professor in the Department of Automation and Computer-Aided Engineering, has been appointed by the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology to the Hong K o ng Productivity Council as a member to represent professional/academic interests from 1st January 2003. He was also elected fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for contributions to the design and control of space robots and dynamically stabilized systems. • Prof. Leung Ping-chung, professor of orthopaedics and traumatology, has been re-appointed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department as a consultant on performing arts affairs [演 艺 事 务顾 问 ] for two years from 1st November 2002. • Prof. Leung Kwok-sui, professor in the Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, was elected as president of the Hong Kong College of Orthopaedic Surgeons for two years from 1st January 2003. • Prof. Raymond Yeung, professor in the Department of Information Engineering, was elected fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for contributions to network coding theory. (Information in this section is provided by the Information and Public Relations Office. Contributions should be sent direct to that office for registration and verification before publication.) RELYING ON THE DISCERNING EYE: Authenticatio n Servic e at the Art Museu m Now is the time to dig out that snuff bottle your great-grandmother claimed to have once been used by Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty and that brush painting from a Peruvian flea market that, according to the vendor, was by Ni Zan (倪瓒 ) of the late Yuan and early Ming Dynasty, and verify once and for all whether you are truly in the company of the jewels of history. Staff members of the University can bring family heirlooms and other objects to the Art Museum on the second Wednesday of every month during the academic year for inspection and identification by professional eyes for free. ' T h e A rt Museum of The Chinese University is the only museum in Ho ng K o ng w i t h expertise i n the connoisseurship and identification of Chinese art and antique objects. Personally I have been appraising and dating objects from excavations, family heirlooms etc. for well over two decades, and I know such services are in high demand. We are glad to make available our services to colleagues at the University,' says Prof. Peter Lam Yip-keung, director of the Art Museum. The authentication team consists mainly of experts and scholars with the relevant expertise from the Department of Fine Arts and the Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS). For instance, Prof. Jenny So, chair professor of fine arts and concurrently director of ICS, is a much respected scholar and authority on Chinese bronze and jade. Prof. Lee Yun Woon, also of the Department of Fine Arts, is a connoisseur of old Chinese calligraphy and painting. Prof. Peter Lam's specialties are Chinese ceramics, decorative items, and calligraphic rubbings. Their professional opinion is often sought by collectors, museums, and governments the world over. Methods of Identification There are many approaches to antique identification. Some traditional antique dealers, Prof. Lam says, go by the qi (气, literally 'vital energy') of the object in the same way fortune-tellers judge a person's character or ongoing fate by the qi he/she exudes. 'We can't say the method is wrong,' says Prof. Lam, 'because i f it were, dealers would be in a lot of trouble as they wou ld have to pay for their mistakes in cash! Many have learnt the tricks of the trade from their father or a master. They do follow certain criteria, which are subjective but also scientific, infused with decades of experience.' Other more standardized approaches, like those adopted by the Art Museum, include surface science techniques, such as thermal ionization mass spectrometry for retrieving lead isotope ratios in Chinese bronze artefacts, thermoluminescence (TL) for dating ceramics, the radioactive carbon-14 (C-14) method for determining the age of organic matter in textiles, wood, bamboo, ivory, and charcoal, and infrared reflectography and x-ray defraction analysis for dating paintings. However all methods of authentication have their shortcomings, Prof. Lam remarks, and the 2 No. 215 19thJanuary 2003

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