Opinion / From the Press

Nobel nominees encouraging sign

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-10-10 07:36

The nomination of two young Chinese-American scientists, who received their college education in China from the 1970s to 1980s for this year's Nobel Prize in physics should encourage young Chinese scientists to realize their innovative capabilities and fulfill their potential. The government should create an environment that makes innovation a driving force for the country's future development, as the demographic dividend is coming to an end, says an article in Global Times. Excerpts:

Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano of Japan and Japanese-born US scientist Shuji Nakamura won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for their invention of blue LED, an energy efficient and environmentally friendly light source.

But it is noteworthy that two Chinese-born scientists, who attended university in China from the 1970s to 1980s and went to the United States later, were nominated for the prize this time.

Shou-Cheng Zhang, a Shanghai-born Chinese-American physicist at Stanford University, who graduated from Fudan University in Shanghai, was nominated for outstanding research in topological insulators. While Yang Peidong, a Jiangsu-born Chinese-American physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, who graduated from the University of Science and Technology of China in Anhui province, was nominated for his work with light-generating nanowires which can be used for data storage and optical computing.

Instead of feeling envious or angry about Japanese scientists winning the prize, Chinese should feel encouraged by the appearance of young Chinese-born and educated scientists among the candidates. Zhang and Yang's nomination proves the younger generation of Chinese scientists has been acknowledged by the global science community.

The "brain drain" is a pity for China. The Chinese government needs to create an open, free and fair research environment for scientists, and increase its input into research to help Chinese innovators make full use of their potential.

Innovations in science and technology will be a key driving force for China's sustainable development in the long run.

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