Chinese scientists may have to learn to scale the "Great Firewall" if they want to visit the official Web site of the Nobel Prize. Within China, typing the site's URL into a browser's address bar yields a blank screen with the words "the connection has been reset."
The block comes in the wake of the Norwegian Nobel Committee's decision to award this year's peace prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. The Chinese government did not permit Liu, who is in prison, or his family members to travel to Oslo to accept the award at a ceremony held earlier today.
Such a "simplistic and crude blockade" is akin to "refusing to eat for fear of choking," Yan Ning, a biology professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, lamented in her blog on ScienceNet.cn. Yan says she used to visit the Nobel site regularly to download lectures as reading material for her students, before discovering last month that the Web site was no longer accessible.