Past Director’s Visitor
A brilliant physicist, Fang Lizhi was recruited out of college to work on Mao Zedong’s project to build an atomic bomb. Later he became one the youngest people ever appointed to China’s Academy of Sciences. When he began speaking out about human rights, he was already vice president of the prestigious University of Science and Technology of China. It was the highest position from which anyone in China had ever stepped out to be a “dissident.” … [I]t was the axioms of science––skepticism, freedom of inquiry, respect for evidence, the equality of inquiring minds, and the universality of truth––that led Fang toward human rights and to reject dogma of every kind, including, eventually, the dogma of the Chinese Communism that he had idealistically embraced during his youth.