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Scientific research helps public good

China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-12 07:27

THREE SCIENTISTS won $1 million each for their research in basic sciences and their applications at the 2017 Future Science Prize award ceremony in Beijing on Saturday. Beijing Youth Daily commented on Monday:

The Future Science Prize, instituted by a group of entrepreneurs and scientists last year, reflects the increasing public awareness about the value of science and scientists. This year, Tsinghua University scientist Shi Yigong won the Life Science Prize for his research in the structure of spliceosome, a substance crucial to gene expression.

The Physical Science Prize went to Pan Jianwei, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and chief scientist who oversaw the launch of the world's first quantum satellite in China last year. And the Mathematic and Computer Science Prize was awarded to Peking University professor Xu Chenyang for his contribution to birational algebraic geometry.

Science could produce win-win results for researchers as well as their sponsors. For those sponsoring scientists, investing in cutting-edge research is money well spent, because it could not just enhance their reputation as innovation pursuers but also contribute to their long-term development. No enterprise can prosper without the help of scientific and technological advancements, for which competent scientists are crucial.

For researchers and academicians, sufficient, consistent funding is essential to their projects and studies and private capital from scrupulous investors should be welcome. And adequately financed science projects could yield better public good.

In fact, future scientists, as well as engineers and technicians employed by enterprises, are also worth investing in. Given that the rise of industrial leaders hinges on technological innovations, entrepreneurs have all the more reason to sponsor outstanding scientists.

For such sponsorship to work continuously, prizewinning scientists need to work harder on their research rather than on soliciting funds or, worse, reworking their previous works as innovations. And how the funds will be appropriated and what measures taken to ensure they are properly used must be made clear before the scientist-entrepreneur interaction goes to the next stage.

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