The President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has hailed the importance of international collaboration in tackling today’s global challenges at the University of Warwick.
Professor Chunli Bai made the comments as he received his Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Warwick during its graduation ceremony on Wednesday 17 July. He is one of twelve distinguished figures to be honoured by the University alongside graduating students and their families.
Professor Chunli Bai is a leading research chemist and an expert in nanoscience. He is President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and Chairman of the Presidium of the Academic Divisions of CAS.
Upon receiving his honorary degree, he encouraged graduating students to travel to help their understanding of the world.
Professor Bai said: “I think that travelling can broaden your vision and help you to communicate with people from different backgrounds and diverse cultures.
“So I think it’s very important to communicate with each other to better understand each other, to do something together, to address the common challenges that we are facing in the world such as global warming and disaster mitigation.
“Those challenges cannot be addressed by a single scientist, by a single institution, we need international collaboration.
“University of Warwick and our Academy have collaborated for many years in the fields of chemistry and physics. I wish the collaboration between our two institutions is productive and long-lasting success.”
Professor Bai has been a voice for science at an international level and currently holds the roles of President of the Alliance of International Science Organizations in the Belt and Road Region (ANSO); President of The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (TWAS), and the Honorary President of the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS).
He added: “I feel greatly honoured to receive an honorary degree from the University of Warwick, which is one of the world’s leading research intensive universities. I believe this honour is not only for myself due to my personal contribution to science and technology in general, but the honour is for the Chinese Academy of Sciences that I represent.
“I think that science is very important for human beings and also for the economy to grow, so it benefits our society and our lives. If your research work is good enough you can benefit our society and the planet, so I hope more of the younger generation can devote themselves to science.”
A leading research chemist and expert in nanoscience, early in his career Professor Bai conducted research into X-ray diffraction before switching to scanning tunnelling microscopy in the 1980s.
Professor Bai said: “That is a very important tool for the nano world, so we can study more information about reactions of atoms or molecules in the nano world. That’s very important for us, not only for understanding the atomic behaviours in the nano world, but also when we are getting to know the rules and reactions in the nano world we can better understand the properties of the materials we use in our daily life.
“Nanoscience and nanotechnology can continue to play an important role in the advancement of science and technology, especially for nanomaterials, nanostructures and even nanoelectronics which will be beneficial to the semiconductor field.”