This year’s Fu­ture Sci­ence Prize rec­og­nizes the achieve­ments of three Chi­nese sci­en­tists


While it is celebri­ties and en­trepreneurs that are usu­ally in me­dia spot­light, the Fu­ture Fo­rum re­cently put the fo­cus on sci­en­tists.

The fo­rum, held in Oc­to­ber in Bei­jing, brought to­gether top sci­en­tists from around the world to share their en­thu­si­asm for re­search and in­spire up­com­ing sci­en­tists.

Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Bei­jing stu­dent Tan Zhiyang had been an­tic­i­pat­ing the fo­rum for al­most a year. He be­lieved it would show­case the fore­front of sci­ence.

“I am cur­rently fac­ing the pres­sure of choos­ing my field of study,” says the 19-year-old ju­nior physics ma­jor who missed last year’s event. “I want to find out what those top sci­en­tists are think­ing about.”

While lis­ten­ing to a va­ri­ety of lec­tures on sub­jects rang­ing from as­tro­physics, quan­tum physics to com­puter sci­ence and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, Tan says he gained a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of quan­tum physics and de­vel­oped an in­ter­est in ma­te­ri­als sci­ence.

Tan was es­pe­cially in­trigued by Yang Pei­dong’s re­search on ar­ti­fi­cial pho­to­syn­the­sis and Cui Yi’s pre­sen­ta­tion on the ap­pli­ca­tion of nano­ma­te­ri­als in new en­ergy. He also paid at­ten­tion to the ob­sta­cles those sci­en­tists are en­coun­ter­ing.

“Get­ting to know the dif­fi­cul­ties they are fac­ing can be quite ben­e­fi­cial,” he says. “Our gen­er­a­tion can take up those chal­lenges.”

This year’s event also added a new ses­sion — Con­ver­sa­tion Be­tween Teenagers and the Fu­ture Sci­ence Prize Lau­re­ates. Stu­dents were in­vited to at­tend and talk face-to­face with Shi Yigong, Pan Jian­wei and Xu Chenyang, the win­ners of the 2017 Fu­ture Sci­ence Prize.

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