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31 Oct,2019

WLA sets up a scientific community

Source: Shanghai Daily

A WORLD Laureates Association Scientific Community was established in Shanghai yesterday that will bring together researchers, universities and institutes under one roof.

The community, which was announced at the World Laureates Forum, aims to boost the application of fundamental, original and industrial innovative products.

It will be based in Lingang area, one of the city’s major incubators on science and technology, in the Pudong New Area, and work with the world’s top scientists. Their creations will then be introduced to the Chinese market.

Scientists will be allowed to get their teams to China.

The community will consist of three sections — idea, laboratory and technical conversion. The idea section will include the working area for scientists, a communication center, and an area where they can present the results of their work. The section will serve as an incubator for new ideas for scientists.

The technical conversion area will work to transform their ideas into reality with the help of “technology bank” and community funds.

Construction work on the community building is already under way. Once it gets working, it will rope in universities, industrial parks and scientist associations to build labs.

Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong said yesterday that the advancement of science is linked to the destiny and future of human beings.

“A new round of scientific and technological reform and industrial revolution is already under way. Important scientific issues and key technologies have resulted in revolutionary breakthrough and the production mode and the lifestyle of people will undergo great changes,” said Ying.

“We will build a world-class complex of large scientific facilities and large scientific equipment in fields like photon science, life science and marine science, while boosting innovation.”

Roger Kornberg, the 2006 Nobel Prize winner in chemistry and chairman of World Laureates Association, spelled out the guiding principles of the WLA.

He said it will invite other laureates, especially those in basic science, and support young scientists.

He cited the example of American National Institutes of Health to illustrate how WLA will work and support future generations of scientists.

Before 1950, there was no support system for scientific research, Kornberg said, adding that leading biochemists in America, Nobel laureates Carl and Gertrude Cori, received US$50 a year from Washington University in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Then the US Congress created the grant program called the NIH. The program was based on two principles — direct financial support for the best ideas, and a review by expert panels, or so called peer review.”

“China should do the same and focus on young investigators worldwide. It is the best, perhaps the only way to become a major player in science and technological development worldwide,” said Kornberg.

Kornberg and his fellow scientists suggested that the WLA can assist in an advisory role.

“We and our fellow laureates have participated in the growth and success of science.”

The World Laureates Forum has brought together 26 Nobel laureates, eight world science award winners and other outstanding scientists and academicians from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering for the three-day event.