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"We Should Persist In Strengthening Basic Research” - Written For the Upcoming 3rd World Laureates Forum
Time: 2020-10-29
Source: Xinhua News Agency
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Xinhua News Agency APP Shanghai, October 29 (reporters Zhou Lin, Yang Youzong, He Xiyue) In the golden autumn season, the Huangpu River bustles with the climbers of the science summit. From October 30 to November 1, the 3rd World Laureates Forum is to be held in Shanghai. Including 61 Nobel Prize laureates, nearly 140 world-class science award winners of Turing Award, Fields Medal, Wolf Prize and Lasker Award are to join the event.

Themed with “Science and Technology for a Community of Shared Future for Mankind”, scientists all over the world will promote basic science, advocate international cooperation, support the growth of young people and make contributions to create a better future for the mankind with joint hands relying on the platform of the forum.

Two new Nobel laureates leading the way to discuss the scientific hot spots

On October 5, local time, Karolinska Institutet (KI) announced that the 2020 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice for their discovery of Hepatitis C virus. On October 6, local time, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics to three scientists. American scientist Andrea Ghez was one of the winners for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy.

In the upcoming World Laureates Forum, the two 2020 Nobel laureates Harvey J. Alter and Andrea Ghez will lead the participating line-up.

It is the first time for both of them to take part in the World Laureates Forum. The top scientists also new to the forum include Kip Stephen Thorne, the 2017 Nobel Prize winner in Physics; Sheperd Doeleman, the winner of the 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Basic Physics, and the project director of the Event Horizon Telescope that captured the historic, first-ever image of a black hole.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic that is still raging around the world, the 3rd Forum holds a special Virus Battle - the WLA Summit on Virus, inviting Harvey Alter, Harald zur Hausen, the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of human papilloma viruses causing cervical cancer, and other virologists to talk about mankind's enduring battle against the virus.

"We should solve the crisis with science instead of blind panic, especially for the young people," said Michael Levitt, the WLA vice president. "Now, it's time for young scientists to come forward."

He continued, "I'm very happy to be in Shanghai at this moment to attend the 3rd World Laureates Forum. Many scientists can't make it to the scene, but we can put forward specific suggestions on the basis of online discussion."

Today, the world is experiencing great change unprecedented over a century. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the evolution of this great change. The world economy is sluggish, and the global industrial chain and supply chain are subject to the impact. The forum has invited seven Nobel Laureates in Economics, including Eric Maskin, Thomas Sargent and Christopher A. Pissarides to diagnose the global economy in the pandemic situation and look into the road of global economic recovery.

Strengthening the function of hotbed, Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Centre taking shape

On October 29, at the opening ceremony of the Inno-match Expo, the Shanghai Technology Exchange opened. As one of the hubs of market-oriented allocation of technological elements in China, the opening of Shanghai Technology Exchange will accelerate the "paper to note" transfer of scientific and technological achievements, which will further boost the construction of Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Centre.

According to Yan Mingfeng, President of Shanghai Technology Exchange, the opening of the Technology Exchange marks the completion of a technology transfer trading network based in Shanghai, radiating the Yangtze River Delta and serving the whole country, and will help the construction of Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Centre and International Finance Centre ( IFC ).

At present, Shanghai is building a science and technology innovation centre with global influence. It will speed up the breakthrough in the hotbed ability of science and technology innovation, and strive to become a major hotbed of global academic new ideas, new scientific discoveries, new technological inventions and new industrial directions. In recent years, Shanghai has focused on photon, life science, integrated circuits and other fields, increased the layout and construction of a number of big science infrastructure, which has become a "business card" of Shanghai science and technology innovation.

With "Science And Technology, For a Community with Shared Future for Mankind" as the eternal theme, the World Laureates Forum is based on three major tasks: promoting basic science, advocating international cooperation and dedicating to the growth of young people. It will continue to pay close attention to the current and future scientific and technological challenges facing mankind, focus on basic science and source innovation, publish the top scientific and technological achievements and ideas, actively promote the intelligence and research achievement of Chinese and foreign scientists to transfer into the driving force for economic and social development, and strive to build a platform for scientific and technological innovation cooperation and exchange with international influence.

As shown in the Ideal City 2020 – Survey Report of Global Science and Technology Innovation Cities for 2035, Shanghai ranks second in the world among the cities considered to be able to provide the best development plans and conditions for the potential young scientific researchers in the world. Wang Xueying, associate researcher of the Innovation Policy Research Office of Shanghai Institute for Science of Science, states that as the world enters the age of the innovation economy, technological innovation becomes a core function that determines the future prospects of cities. The worldwide new scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation are in the rising trend. The scientific competition between cities and countries is not only the competition of influence, but also the competition of future development opportunities.

According to the plan, Shanghai will form a basic framework of the science and technology innovation centre this year, and intensify its hotbed function. The Shanghai Municipal Government has decided to bring efforts to enhance the affinity and visibility of Zhangjiang Comprehensive National Science Centre, accelerate the establishment of national laboratories, promote the construction of big science facilities, do a good job on the building of Zhangjiang Science City, vigorously promote the implementation of the "Shanghai plan" for integrated circuits, AI and biomedicine, and create a highland for institutional innovation and supply.

Transforming of the advantages of "the first mile" into the development kinetic energy of "the last mile"

In August this year, the first plot of land was auctioned for the planned WLA Scientific Community in Lingang new area to build the permanent site of the World Laureates Forum. The WLA Scientific Community will make its global cloud unveiling at this year’s forum.

As an important part of the international innovation collaboration function of Lingang new area, the community will face the major needs of the country, focus on the world's leading scientific and technological fields, plan and build the world's top research institutes, introduce a number of top young scientists and key projects and transform of the advantages of "the first mile" into the development kinetic energy of "the last mile". The WLA Laboratory will construct in parallel with the WLA Scientific Community to create a cradle for nurturing future world science leaders.

It is learned that the WLA Laboratory will include the Kornberg & Shakman Laboratory, the Winter & Lerner Laboratory and Dwek & Wong Laboratory in its initial stage. All the laboratories will share the scientific research supporting platform and keep relatively independent operation.

Kornberg & Shakman Lab, headed by Professor Roger Kornberg, the WLA president and the winner of Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2006 at Stanford University, and Randy Shakman, 2013 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry and Professor of Biology at Stanford University, aims to establish an international joint laboratory for the prevention and control of infectious diseases and drug-resistant microorganisms.

Based on the basic research of immunochemistry and by taking the major key issues related to human health in the field of life science as the breakthrough point, Winter & Lerner Lab will build a technology platform for frontier combination library of molecular drugs, gene drugs and cell drugs, and promote and lead the breakthrough and innovation of future medicine represented by precision treatment and repair and regeneration technology.

The Dwek& Wong Lab project, hosted by Raymond Dwek and Professor Chi-Huey Wong, a famous chemist who won the 2014 Wolf Prize in Chemistry for his "outstanding research on glycomolecular synthesis and glycoprotein", aims to build an Joint Laboratory for International Cooperation on glycobiology, bring together the world's top research institutions and researchers, and conduct research on glycochemistry, glycobiological diagnosis, and glycomicrobiomics and other seven directions.

Shanghai Lingang is becoming a key node of global innovation resource aggregation. In August 2019, the Masterplan for the Lingang New Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone issued by the State Council declares to increase construction of a new area of Shanghai pilot FTZ. According to the Action Plan on Accelerating the Construction of Lingang New Area under the Guidance of "Five Key Points" (2020-2022), Shanghai is bringing the whole city efforts to speed up the construction of Lingang new area, and create the "growth pole", "engine" and "new highland" of the city's economic development.

Shanghai Lingang is striving to become a comprehensive and open science and technology innovation centre with high concentration of world’s innovative talents, scientific and technological elements and high-tech enterprises, more innovative and creative achievements, and perfect scientific and technological innovation infrastructure and service system, becoming an important hub of global innovation network and an important hotbed of major international scientific development, original technology and high-tech industries.

“The WLA Scientific Community is an important achievement of the World Laureates Forum and an important carrier for gathering talents at home and abroad to carry out international innovation collaboration," said Zhang Tong, director of High-tech Division of Lingang new area administration committee of the Shanghai FTZ. The WLA Scientific Community will form a strategic simultaneous resonance with the new area. It will fully rely on Shanghai's advantages, face the great expectations of the "International Collaborative Innovation Area", gather the headquarters of the world's top international organizations, the Asian branches of the world's top universities, and the innovation laboratory bases of leading scientists, and form a core area of special economic functional zone with strong global resource allocation capacity.