Chapter 778: His infamy spreads overseas!
Translator: Legge Editor: - -
The next day. Monday.
It just past 6 AM when the doorbell at home rang.
His parents had returned home with Chenchen from Tianjin last night. Everyone was still sleeping except for his mother, who was up early, so she answered the door.
"Who is it?" his mother asked.
Han Henian asked anxiously, "Auntie, hello. You must be Professor Zhang's mother, right?"
His mother looked at Han Henian. "Who are you?"
Han Henian immediately answered, "I am Han Henian from Peking University's Math Department, a colleague of Professor Zhang. I was assigned by the university to come invite Professor Zhang back to the school for a meeting!"
"Oh, you're Teacher Han?" His mother said, "Little Ye is not at home."
Han Henian quickly asked, "Where did he go? Everyone is waiting for him now and Dean Pan is also worried sick. They told me that I have to bring Professor Zhang back no matter what!"
His mother said, "I don't know either. He left last night but did not tell me where he was heading."
After dragging the matter and rambling on for a long time, she finally got him to leave.
When his mother closed the door, she went and knocked on his bedroom door. "Little Ye, your colleague came over just now, but I've fending him off for you."
A few moments later, the door opened and Zhang Ye walked out sleepily and yawned. "OK, Mom, thanks. No matter who comes over in the next few days, just say that I'm not at home." Then he went straight into the bathroom.
His mother stared in the direction of the bathroom and said, "It's easy for you, just ignoring everything after creating such a huge mess. I even have to be your shield in this situation now. When will ever let me and your dad not worry about you?"
Zhang Ye said rather helplessly, "I've already said that I won't go to America, but they're still very insistent. What can I do about it? I've even turned off my cell phone." He sighed, then added, "This bro has been in the industry for over a year now and has gotten into all sorts of incidents before, so it's not like they don't know about my temper. If I say I won't go, then I definitely won't go. What's the point in them coming and trying to persuade me?"
Just as he was saying that, the home phone rang.
His mother went to pick it up.
"Hello, who is this?"
"Hello, I am calling from Peking University's Math Depart..."
"Oh, you've dialed the wrong number."
"Ah? It can't be, I'm sure I dialed the right number."
"This is the restaurant delivery hotline. Would you like a rice bowl or pulled noodles? [1.]
Zhang Ye: "..."
His mother hung up the phone and gave a hmph in annoyance.
Throughout the afternoon, another three groups of people came to the house and around eight calls were made to Zhang Ye's house. There were even a few people who managed to get their hands on Zhang Ye's parents' cell phone numbers and called them, showing just how much effort they were putting into this. However, still, none of them managed to get to Zhang Ye himself. As evening approached, the calls gradually became fewer, probably because everyone understood Zhang Ye's determination by now and knew that they could not change his mind anymore.
The Abel Foundation located in America suddenly released a public statement!
First, it announced that the Abel Foundation had removed Johannes from his administrative position at the Foundation.
When the citizens of China saw that, they all applauded.
"You even dared to make things difficult for Professor Zhang? Of course you'd be removed from your post!"
"A person who throws their weight around like him is a maggot in academia!"
However, the Abel Foundation released another statement, but it was not the Chinese citizens' expected clarification or apology. Moreover, there wasn't any written explanation on the already known situation in which an Abel Foundation staff member had made things difficult for the selected award winner, not even a single line. Instead, the statement condemned Zhang Ye!
The original excerpt read as follows:
Abel Foundation: The Foundation has verified the news of Zhang Ye, the Chinese man selected as winner of the Abel Prize, turning down the award to be true. It leaves us with deep regret, and at the same time, we find this to be a very naïve and ridiculous behavior. The Abel Prize is one of the most prestigious awards in the global mathematics field, therefore turning down the award is hard to understand. We do not know what kind of arrogance led Zhang Ye to make this decision, but we hereby clarify and announce that in the future, Zhang Ye will never again be nominated for the award!
When this news came out, many people started scolding!
"What dogshit is this!"
"Forever rejecting Zhang Ye for consideration of the award? Pui! It was clearly Teacher Zhang who rejected you, yet you people are still trying to make yourselves look good!? Stop pretending!"
"Zhang Ye might be arrogant, but you guys are ten times more arrogant than Zhang Ye!"
"I guess we have finally found out what kind of an organization the Abel Foundation is! If you give the award to someone, they have to ingratiate themselves to you? If someone turns down the award, you lose your temper from the embarrassment? Even issuing a public condemnation? Never nominate the person for the award again? What sort of lousy international math award is this! Is this all there is to it!?"
"Teacher Zhang was right to reject such an award! This sort of lousy award is not worth receiving!"
"The entire statement was contemptuous and pretentious. It makes me want to scold someone!"
"I don't see how this award will still exist in several years from now!"
The domestic sentiments were frenzied as countless Chinese citizens waved Zhang Ye's flag and shouted for him. There were even a lot of people who went to the American Abel Foundation's official website and its affiliated mathematics research website to air their opinions!
At this moment, the incident had been pushed beyond China's borders and into international attention!
Due to the lag in the global news flow, coupled with how the Chinese mathematics field was not too integrated with the global mathematics field, and time zone differences on top of everything else, even though some people had already learned of this news, it wasn't until the Abel Foundation's public statement was announced that every country's mathematics field truly learned of it, even finding out about the scandal from the news in China. With that, the global mathematics field blew up. Every country's mathematicians were also dumbfounded! [2.]
A German mathematician publicly stated: "This is truly unbelievable!"
A French mathematician: "What on earth happened? Can someone tell me?"
A famous American mathematician: "This has to be the darkest day for the Abel Prize since its inception! I still can't believe that someone would actually turn down the award!"
An American mathematician even publicly criticized: "Those haughty and arrogant Chinese mathematicians! One of these days, they will surely pay for the naivety!"
The global mathematics field was full of criticism flying around!
Some overseas citizens raised some doubts instead.
"Aren't you people getting it all wrong?"
"Wasn't it the American Embassy that denied the visa application first?"
"If I am the award recipient and my visa was denied, that is basically a great insult to me. If I were them, I wouldn't have gone to attend the awards ceremony either!"
"This is the first time I've learned of a Chinese mathematician's temper!"
"I like them, hahaha. They actually went ahead and turned down the award!"
"There's such a big scandal regarding the Abel Prize now, yet they did not give an explanation? They did not explain why the Chinese mathematician's visa was denied? I used to think that this award was an authoritative one with great international prestige, but I no longer feel so!"
"So even the Abel Prize has a shady side to it!"
Following the overseas citizens' questioning of the Abel Prize's authority, many global mathematicians also gradually calmed down from the shock of Zhang Ye turning down the award and started noticing the cause and development of this incident!
Several mathematicians who had been at Summer Palace when Zhang Ye solved Dale's Conjecture and had struck up a friendship with him then also stepped forward one by one to openly question the Abel Foundation!
The English mathematician who had invited Zhang Ye to the United Kingdom back then said: "I'm sorry, but I don't see any hint of arrogance from Zhang Ye in this incident at all. Instead, it is the Foundation's attitude that makes people very uncomfortable!"
The German mathematician who led the youth team for Germany said: "I do not know the exact details of the scandal, but what I know is that Zhang is truly quite a good person!"
All at once, the Abel Foundation was under enormous pressure!
Of course, in the global mathematics field, there were also many who called out Zhang Ye for being unable to judge what was good for him!
Turning down the Abel Prize wouldn't be that big of an issue for many of the foreign citizens. A sixth-ranked mathematics award in the global mathematics field would not even raise an eyebrow on these people. But to the global mathematics field, this was a big deal, it was a earth-shatteringly big deal!
Back in China.
Some of the international reactions and news were gradually published by the newspapers!
The netizens were yelling!
"There are many people overseas who are very understanding as well!"
"Yeah, there's even quite a number of foreign mathematicians who are supporting Zhang Ye!"
"But similarly, there are also those who are scolding him. Damn, this is so maddening!"
"This Abel Prize really has no morals!"
"Why are those at the Abel Foundation behaving like a bunch of bastards!"
However, a person familiar with the happenings said: "Hur hur, don't bother scolding anymore. The Abel Foundation is already paying for their arrogance. Teacher Zhang's rejection of the award has not only ruthlessly slapped their faces, those issues like the denied visa application and other matters were also revealed. The situation that everyone's seeing now should be how Zhang Ye is being scolded and how he has lost the award, while everything's still going on as usual for the Abel Foundation, right? But that's not what's happening! The Abel Foundation has suffered the greatest loss already!"
Someone asked: "What do you mean?"
"Hurry up and tell us!"
That person said: "I just heard some news from a friend that the International Mathematical Union has sent their people to the Abel Foundation's headquarters to investigate the affair. Although it's not likely they'll be able to find anything, what can be said for sure is that the Abel Prize will no longer have its glory days like before. Do you guys know what the most important thing an international award has to have? It isn't the size of the funding or the number of research facilities, nor is it the rigorousness and strictness of the award committee, rather the authority it has and how impartial they are! That's what makes an international award gain credibility in the eyes of the public! Once they lose their impartiality, everyone will doubt the authority of the award. That's when the award is relegated from its place! A fifth or sixth-ranked award of the global mathematics field? Starting from tomorrow, I'm afraid that will be history. With someone rejecting the award and the revelation of the scandal, it will be considered lucky if the Abel Prize can still stay within the top 15 awards in the global mathematics field! Perhaps, after years pass, they won't even be able to maintain that rank! It can be said that the Abel Prize has had its reputation stripped by more than half! Hurt by this affair today, it might take them a decade to several decades to recover their reputation!"
This Weibo post was immediately forwarded by countless people!
"Is that true?"
"Just because Teacher Zhang turned down the award, he managed to deal such a big blow to the Abel Foundation?"
"Fuck me! If that happens, I'll be damned!"
In the end, it didn't take long for the news of the International Mathematical Union sending personnel down to the Abel Foundation to spread!
There was shock throughout China!
The global mathematics field was also shocked!
At this moment, people didn't need any explaining for them to know that beginning today, the Abel Prize had entered a period of slow decline! The incident had been blown out of proportion so much that it even alarmed the International Mathematical Union!
All of a sudden, the global mathematics field was lively once more!
Over a dozen Abel Prize laureates collectively came forward, some of them casting doubt on Zhang Ye's proof to Dale's Conjecture, saying that there had been logical errors in his reasoning. There were others who attacked Zhang Ye regarding his morals and also someone who suggested that Zhang Ye's name be rejected by all international math awards!
They were all Abel Prize laureates. The award was one of their greatest achievements and a gloss on their resumes. If the Abel Prize depreciated from here on out, then who would be affected the most? Of course it was them! That was the reason why they all started scolding Zhang Ye without sparing any effort! They did not want to see the value of the Abel Prize drop!
It was chaos!
Everything was in turmoil!
Many of these foreigners and foreign media reporters were hearing Zhang Ye's name for the first time!
In China, if you went around the streets and pulled anyone out of a crowd to ask, they would definitely know who Zhang Ye was. If you picked ten people from those who knew Zhang Ye to ask about Zhang Ye, then nine of them would tell you the same thing. Zhang Ye was very infamous for: beating his leaders, battling his peers, fighting a Korean celebrity, and scolding foreign dignitaries. All of those incidents were no longer a secret in China. Even a three-year-old child likely knew of them. Zhang Ye's notoriety was known to all within the country!
This time, however, Zhang Ye's name had finally spread outside of China. For the first time...his infamy had spread overseas!!!
[1. rice with meat and vegetables.]
[2. Global news flow - ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_news_flow]