On September 27, the Korean Society of Forensic Science revealed that BTS leader RM had donated ₩100 million KRW (about $73,900 USD) to their institution for the purpose of training future experts. Though the news was made public only recently, the donation was promised a long time ago.
The field of forensic science in Korea is struggling for its survival, with only 60 experts or so reportedly active nationwide. So, the rapper’s contribution is expected to be a significant help in encouraging younger professionals to join the job and funding their education. It was reported that the donation was a result of his close relationship with forensic expert Lee Ho, which developed while they were on the tvN show The Dictionary of Useless Knowledge together.
After the news came out, astronomer Shim Chae Kyung, who was one of the panelists on the program, posted a lengthy Instagram post praising RM for keeping his promise. She revealed that RM and Professor Lee Ho were having a conversation in between shots for the show, and the BTS member had spontaneously made a promise to donate to the field of forensic science.
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expression, and attitude that it wasn’t just empty words.
He kept that promise made in the hectic shooting location till the end.. I used to think astronomers were a minority,
but forensic scientists are even fewer.
Not complaining, not comparing, and diligently filling each +
— RM NEWS DATA (@rmnewsdata) September 27, 2023
Later, the official YouTube channel of the show uploaded a behind-the-scenes clip showing the exact conversation that took place on set between RM and Professor Lee. He approached Lee first, saying that he makes donations on every birthday, but so far, he has only donated to fields he is familiar with. However, RM added that after hearing about the current scenario of forensic science in Korea from him, he wanted to donate to the field on his birthday.
Actually, I make a donation every year on my birthday. Usually, I always donated to fields that I knew about, like culture and arts. But today, your words resonated with me so much, professor. So, for my birthday, (I’d like to donate to the) forensic science field.
Professor Lee Ho thanked RM for his consideration and told him his donation could be a big help to “select young forensic scientists and send them abroad for training.”
RM then shyly added that his birthday wasn’t until September, but his promise touched the hearts of both Professor Lee and Professor Shim Chae Kyung, who was sitting across the table. She happily complimented RM, “Woah, you’re so cool. Professor, you must be proud.”
Professor Lee, visibly excited, responded, “Oh, I feel so good. Now my wish has come true!”
RM ended up keeping his word and, with this donation, hoped to “contribute a little” to support the development of forensic sciences in Korea.
I heard that the process of becoming a forensic scientist is very difficult. I sympathize with the importance of forensic science, and I sincerely respect those who are walking the path of a forensic scientist with a sense of duty. I will contribute a little to the training and support of forensic scientists and the development of the Forensic Science Society. I hope this happens.
Netizens have commended RM’s thoughtfulness and character for proactively making the promise and keeping it months later.