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The Young Brains of China Project 
Promoting bicycle helmet use in China.

People are dying needlessly and there's something we can do about it:

Picture: A bike rider goes over a car hood and his head will hit the ground at 7.5 metres per second.  Deadly without a helmet.
Very few Chinese wear bicycle helmets.  Hundreds die every week.

Please join us to change this situation.  We are looking for sponsors to provide helmets for university students in China.  If we can get the university students to wear helmets, bicycle helmets will be associated with youth, style, intelligence, and getting ahead.  Word will spread.

Benefits for our sponsors:  The very best kind of image enhancement and positive PR.
                                                      The satisfaction of knowing you are directly saving lives.
                                                      Very low cost yet effective international publicity.

What could be more positive than directly saving lives?

Please consider joining our campaign as a sponsor.

There are more bicycles, and bicycle riders, in China than in any other country.  Half a billion bike riders.

Picture:  A thick crowd of bike riders in China, none of whom wear bicycle helmets.
The use of bicycle helmets is virtually unknown.

Picture:  A mother doubles her daughter on a bicycle in China.  No helmets in use.   Picture:  A mother doubles two kids on a bicycle in China.  No helmets in use.

And China has eight times more bike accident head injury fatalities per rider mile than western countries.

Picture:  A bike rider goes over the handle bars in China.  No helmet in use.   Picture:  A bike rider does a face plant  in China.  No helmet in use.
Sure, it looks comical.  But it's also deadly.

Among fatal traffic accidents in Shanghai, 23% of the victims are bicyclists.
Number of fatalities, road distribution and responsibility of bicycle accidents in Shanghai, 2005.
Source: Chen et al., 2007

Brain damage caused by a bicycle accident head injury can be worse than a fatality.

Yet studies show that helmet use alone reduces fatalities by 80%  Your support for this initiative will directly save lives.

This project kicked off in January of 2009 with a full page in China Daily.  Now our plans are becoming realistic and we're ready to see some big changes.

Picture:  This picture was featured in the China Daily article that kicked off our helmet campaign in China.
David Scott has already sold 100 helmets on his Wuxi university campus.
 -by Patrick Whiteley, China Daily 2009-01-05

As The Word Gets Around (Originally posted  on www.themaninchina.com April 17, 2009)

We had a wonderful barbeque dinner on the street this evening. When we returned home we got a surprise visit from William, our old friend and Chinese teacher.  He'd been talking to his younger brother about my helmet campaign,  and his younger brother,  who is about to do some cycling around the lake here, decided he wants a helmet.  Yes! (pumps fist in air).  A young Chinese who voluntarily wears a bike helmet.  Fantastic.

Picture: William and David with China Daily article,  Jiangnan Universisty, Wuxi, China. William's younger brother wanted a picture of the China Daily article.
Click the picture to see the China Daily article.

I asked William's younger brother if he would be riding with a friend,  and of course he will be.  So of course he will need two helmets.  I really should be working in retail.

Leveraging my Efforts to Promote Helmets
(Originally posted on www.themaninchina.com  March 25, 2009)

Today Edward came to see me to pick up two helmets that he has sold to other students.  He's decided to support my helmet promotion project by selling them himself.

Picture: Edward my helmet salesman.  Hope for the future of humanity.  Jiangnan University,  Wuxi,  China

What a thrill this is for me,  to have a student take up this cause on his own initiative, with no prompting from me at all.  It gives me hope for humanity.

Helmets in the News Again (Originally posted on www.themaninchina.com  March 24, 2009)

Today one of my students,  Edward Hou in my IELTS preparation class,  presented me with a copy of Lihu Magazine,  the all-student produced Jiangnan University news magazine.  It's a slick and professional publication.  More to the point,  this issue devoted four whole pages to me and my helmet campaign.

Picture: Edward delivers Lihu Magazine,  with a four page article on my helmet campaign.  Jiangnan University,  Wuxi,  China.  Picture: Edward asked for a helmet.  I knew this guy was smart.  Jiangnan University,  Wuxi,  China.

Wow.  Thanks guys.  I really appreciate the attention and recognition.  Most of all,  I appreciate that Edward came over to my home to buy a helmet.

A Legend in His Own Mind Part 2
(Originally posted on www.themaninchina.com February 28, 2009)

On Wednesday of this week I was interviewed for an article in the Yangtze Evening Post,  the most popular Chinese language evening paper in Jiangsu Province.  Yesterday the article came out. It was better in the actual paper,  because that included a picture.  But at least it's here. Here's the picture that they didn't post with the online article.

Picture: Click to see the article in the Yangze Evening Post. David Scott and student with bicycle helmet,  Jiangnan University,  Wuxi,  China

It's really encouraging to see how the Chinese media is picking up on the bicycle helmet idea.  Now I think I need to talk to the doctors in China who deal with brain injuries,  and get them on board this campaign.

The Hainan Bike Rider
(Originally posted on www.themaninchina.com February 16,  2009)

On our way back to Wuzhishan on the mountain highway of Hainan Island,  Ruth spotted a bicycle rider coming toward us.  "Hey, somebody in China wearing a helmet," she said.  "That's great." 
We're always on the lookout for Chinese bike riders who wear helmets.  We're hoping that the idea is catching on and spreading.
"He looks American or European," I said.
"No,  I think he looks Chinese."
     The next day,  getting ready to board the bus back to Sanya,  we saw him at the bus station with his bicycle.  He's a serious bike rider from Boston,  Massachusetts. He spoke excellent Mandarin, and he needed it to convince the bus driver to load his bike into the baggage compartment of the bus.

Picture:  The American bike rider on Hainan Island. He'd be dead if he hadn't worn his helmet.  Picture:  The American bike rider on Hainan Island. Check out the road rash on his face. He'd be dead if he hadn't worn his helmet.

I noticed a bandage on his nose and some road rash on his face.  "Where's your helmet," I asked.
"I broke it this morning," he said.
"Wow.  Imagine what you would look like if you hadn't had the helmet."
"Yeah.  I'm a firm believer in helmets.  Probably save my life this morning."
     Somebody had removed a manhole cover, and there was grass around it that hid the open hole from view.  That's what he hit. Fortunately, he was wearing a helmet.  If he'd been a Chinese rider, without a helmet, he'd probably be one more reason why the bicycle fatalities are seven times higher here than in North America. 

Student Support:

Several of my students have become quite enthusiastic about the helmet initiative,  and a few have offered to help sell and promote helmets on campus.  Here's an email I got from Merry,  slightly edited:

Dear David,

You know what, I still remember the first time I saw you (of course you didnít know me that moment). I laughed, and said: Ēhow funny!Ē I donít mean to laughed at you, I just feel surprised to see a man who is just riding a bike on a peaceful campus wearing a helmet! for me, for most students who ride to school every day, itís not necessary. first, we donít see how dangerous it is; second, we donít want to cost that much (maybe 100yuan or more?) for a useless thing; third, it will take us time to wear and it obviously may make annoy our hairstyle (itís terrible!); last but not least, it make us outstanding, and maybe we will be laughed at just like you and Ruth.

Thank goodness, I give up those stupid opinions now!
After surfing on your page and listening to you, I think I can accept it now~ and many thanks, David, you help us to find how important our head are. ye, you got it, thanks for reminding us we every one could have our own thought!


Just gotta love my students.  They are what this is all about,  after all.

Back in Action:  (Posted on www.themaninchina.com September 5, 2010)

Picture:  Only the second Chinese person I've seen wearing a bike helmet in China.  Very intelligent.  Wuxi, China
This is the second Chinese person I've seen wearing a helmet.  I told him he's very smart to protect his brain.

I dropped the ball on this campaign last year, and did nothing for two terms.  But my energy has come back, and I'm excited again.  We can make this happen.  The other day Ruth and I saw two bike riders on the Jiangnan University campus wearing helmets, and they weren't riding together.  That's a first, and a start.
     I've also started to network with other interested people on the helmet issue: Here's a link to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, a great stateside site promoting bike helmets.  Any questions you have about whether wearing a helmet is a good idea can be answered here.  There's also a lot of information about how to campaign for helmet use, and what is happening globally on this issue.

And now we have our plan shaping up to promote helmets on university campuses, starting with Jiangnan University here in Wuxi, China.

We look forward to your support.  Please join us.

Picture:  Our poster boy for the Chinese bicycle helmet campaign.  In English he's saying: "My Brain is Precious".
In English:  "My brain is precious." (Click to see our first public service promo.)

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  Translated into Chinese by Panda Wang   王璇翻译