Attention to the Common Destiny of Mankind, "The Strongest Brains" Gathered in Shanghai to Release the Initiative

October 31st, 2019


Xinhua News Agency, Shanghai, and October 31st (Reporters: Du Kang and Zhou Lin)

Science and Technology, for the Common Destiny of Mankind. The "Shanghai Initiative" was released at the 2nd World Laureates Forum, which just concluded. The WLA International Joint Laboratory Base was unveiled, and projects such as the WLA Science Community were signed.

From October 29th to October 31st, the “strongest brains” gathered at Shanghai Lingang Dishui Lake. Nearly 70 laureates of Nobel Prize, Turing Award, Wolf Prize, Lasker Prize, and Fields Medal, more than 10 members of the CAS and CAE, and more than 100 outstanding young scientists from around the world discussed the possibilities of science and technology.

How to treat basic research and applied research? How to cultivate the scientific spirit of youth? Is human being the highest form of life on earth? Will humans create creatures smarter than us? Does science and technology develop too fast and pose a threat to society? Does science will definitely bring happiness? At the 2nd World Laureates Forum, scientists discussed many propositions.

The forum has closed, but the scientific spirit remained. At the closing ceremony, "Science and Technology, for the Common Destiny of Mankind - The 2nd World Laureates Shanghai Initiative" was released. The Initiative reaffirmed the concern and emphasis on the basic science, a transformative source of society; emphasized that the concept of openness, cooperation and the community of science and technology is still the decisive foundation for supporting scientific development; called for the support for young scientists worldwide; and building a healthy global scientific ecosystem. The initiative proposes that science and technology and scientists benefiting the future of mankind should take on more responsibilities, which can be used as a cornerstone to create a better technology management model.

In addition, WU Qing, the deputy mayor of Shanghai, and Michael Levitt, the vice chairman of the World Laureates Association, unveiled the WLA International Joint Laboratory Base. The Lingang Administration Committee of the Shanghai FTZ, Lingang Group, the World Laureates Association and other organizations and enterprises have signed cooperation projects such as the WLA Science Community.

According to reports, on the one hand, the Science Community is equipped with communication centers and laboratories to provide a convenient communication; on the other hand, it is a link between domestic and international institutions, and supporting facilities such as housing are also being constructed simultaneously.

The 2nd World Laureates Forum is organized by the Shanghai Municipal People's Government and initiated by the World Laureates Association.

A Rare Scene of Four 2019 Nobel Laureates Together, Discussing Topics from Disease Overcoming to Unknown Universe

"At the beginning of life on Earth, there was no oxygen on the planet." A sentence from Steven Chu, the 1997 Nobel Laureate in Physics connected the research fields of the four 2019 Nobel Laureates.


The 2nd World Laureates Forum held from October 29 to November 1 became a hot topic. Four Nobel Laureates this year: William Kaelin Jr., Gregg Semenza, Michel Mayor, Didier Queloz are rarely to sit together and discuss the ultimate issue of science from their respective fields. Facing many media cameras, from the discovery of cosmic life outside the earth to the biological discovery of HIF, all four laureates have expressed their views on the world and on scientific discoveries.


Is there any other life in the universe? "I think there is hope."


Apart from to the three other Nobel laureates who had met with the public at the opening ceremony, the 2019 Nobel Laureate in Physics Didier Queloz also joined the discussion at this media conference. He and Michel Mayor is a teacher-student relationship and looks like the youngest Nobel Laureate on the scene. For Steven Chu's first question: Does the planet outside the solar system have life? Didier Queloz gave his answer. "I think there is hope." he said. Life is made up of a variety of chemicals. The keys are to have a combination of suitable chemicals and various elements and to have some elements that can protect the planet and its environment. "We can study hundreds or thousands of planets similar to the earth, and study whether the water on the earth was originally present when the earth first appeared, or is it emerge later? With the development of geography, physics, biology, chemistry and astronomy, we will certainly get some answers about life. "Didier Queloz believes that the life of the earth is not isolated in the universe, but whether we can find life on other planets is uncertain. “Unless we find a planet exactly the same as the earth, we cannot be sure that there must be life on that planet. There may be life that is very different from ours, or we may have missed it because we don’t know what to look at or pay attention to.”


Michel Mayor affirmed his student's answer. According to his research, there are hundreds of billions of planets in the entire universe, and there may be millions of planets suitable for life. On the basis of this research, he mentioned the fundamental issue of this problem is: "After all, we have to think about whether life is a certain part of the evolution of the universe or is it unique."


This year's Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine, William Kaelin Jr., Gregg Semenza, and another scientist, Peter Ratcliffe, discovered how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability. They identified molecular machinery that regulates the activity of genes in response to varying levels of oxygen. Unlike the results of physics research that cannot be applied until after a long period of time, the discovery of this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine can quickly achieve clinical progress, helping people overcome various diseases. Why can scientific discoveries in medicine develop so quickly? William Kaelin Jr. and Gregg Semenza gave the same answer that is because of the development of modern biotechnology. "For example, when we made two genes HIF, we used the original method to isolate the two genes. Now we can quickly complete such a gene separation on a computer." William Kaelin Jr. said. Advances in technical tools have facilitated the process of scientific discovery, but over-reliance on technology and neglecting active thinking are also detrimental to scientific discovery. William Kaelin Jr. pointed out that there are two paths to scientific discovery. One is to think about a question first, and then see what technologies can help answer these questions. The other is that scientists are more familiar with certain technologies, and then use these technologies to see what kind of questions they can answer. Although both paths have their strengths, William Kaelin Jr. said he prefers the former, "New technologies are certainly good, but if we think about it, we still tend to understand first how everything works."


Source: Science and Technology Daily


2018 WLA Forum

On October 29, 2018, the WLA Science Community was officially launched in Shanghai.

Wolrd Laureates Association

Click to learn more about the associations and laureates.

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