i) Advance the development of science and technology in Hong Kong,
ii) Promote the education of science and technology in Hong Kong,
iii) Inform the public on issues pertaining to science and technology, and
iv) Foster Hong Kong as a centre of scientific excellence.
Before the summit, I met two classmates in CityU and they were Prof. Kenneth MY Leung (Asso. Dean (Research & Graduate Studies) & Professor, School of Biological Sciences, HKU) (middle) and Dr. C.C. Cheung (VP, Business Development & Operations, Aviton Care Limited) (right).
In the beginning, Prof. Lap-Chee Tsui (President, ASHK) gave welcome speech. He said this was an important milestone for the science and technology community in Hong Kong. ASHK would like to nutrient next generation in science and made Hong Kong to be a lead centre of Science and Technology. One of missions of ASHK is to promote knowledge exchange. Finally, he thanked Ms. Fanny Law (Chairperson, HKSTP) and Prof Daniel M Cheng (Chairman, FHKI) supported to organize the 1st Science and Technology Innovation Summit in Science Park.
The Honourable C.Y. Leung (Chief Executive, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) was the first keynote speaker. He shared his experience to visit China 15 year ago and told us the technology trade of skill for 200 years. He also summarized recently Innovation and Technology related events included Karolinska Institutet China-Hong Kong Center, MIT Innovation Node, ITB and ASHK. Then he quoted MIT Innovation node statement to select Hong Kong because of leverage prototype production ability in Pearl River Delta including up, middle and down steams of industry.
Prof. Wan Gang (Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and Minister of Science and Technology) was the next keynote speaker. He said the development of science and technology was the future of China. Innovation was positioned in the strategy level and we needed to establish the innovation environment and ecosystem. He quoted Premier Li Keqiang double engines (the hand of the government and the hand of the market) to encourage people to do business creatively and drive innovation (大眾創業、萬眾創新). He also suggested that Hong Kong could be international innovation exchange platform and encourage more young people for exchange. (In addition (in Chinese): 香港是科技的高地，創新的重鎮。 高地需要平原，重鎮需要福地。)
Then all guests took a group photo.
Panel Discussion I – Science and Society
Prof. Tony F. Chan (President, HKUST) was the host and Panel members were Prof. Bai Chunli (President, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)), Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon (President, European Research Council) and Prof. Ronald Graham (Representative, National Academy of Science, US).
Prof. Bai Chunli gave a speech first and his topic named “Science, Technology, and Innovation in China”. He introduced three contents included “Profile of Chinese S&T and Innovation”, “The role of CAS in Chinese S&T and Innovation” and “Scientific Collaboration between mainland China and Hong Kong”.
China invested R&D expenditure upto 1301.56 billion yuan in 2014. However, the percentage of basic research was less than 5%. He said it should be increased (15% in the US). However, some important S&T technologies had significant contribution including “Large Scale Quantum Communication”, “Daya Bay – A New Type of Neutrino Oscillation”, “Quantum Anomalous Hall Effect”, “Discovery Weyl Fermions in Condensed Matter”, etc.
Then Prof. Bai introduced the CAS’s mission, structure and strategy. CAS members had 743 and foreign members had 71. Its total staff were more than 68,000 and graduate students were more than 58,000. CAS launched “Pionner Initiative” on 29 Aug 2014 that set four targets for the academy’s reform and development by 2030. It took the lead in:
- Achieving leap-frog development in science and innovation
- Becoming a powerhouse for high-caliber talent
- Becoming an advanced national science think-tank
- Building into a world-class scientific institution
Finally, Prof. Bai discussed the collaboration between mainland China and Hong Kong. CAS had 6 State Key Laboratories/Partner Labs in Hong Kong. Moreover, 22 joint laboratories had been set up between CAS and 6 universities in Hong Kong since 1997. He expressed future perspectives included strengthen the existing collaborative ties, support and further encourage all kinds of exchanges, and welcome HK scientists to participate in national and CAS research projects.
Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon was the next speaker and he said two things of science and technology included to create new knowledge and practical research. He pointed out “Google” come from mathematical algorithm which was resulted from research plus new business model. He encouraged collaboration between Europe and China. Finally he pointed out research funding should not be shortsighted and the 21st century was Life Science.
The third speaker was Prof. Ronald Graham and his topic was “The Public Perception of Science”. He asked three questions about public know/care/should care about Science. He said most public knew about science from media (TV, movies, newspapers, magazines, internet, etc.).
Then he showed current US lawmakers compositions that had only one physicist and one mathematician. Prof. Ronald Graham quoted Ralph Cicerone (President, US National Academy of Sciences) statement of “Taking Science to the Public” (April 28, 2014) that “Because informed public attitudes about science are critical, we must commit to long-term efforts to interact with the public. The National Academy of Sciences will continue its efforts and we urge other scientific and professional societies and civic organizations to expand their communications work.”
During tea break, Prof. Lap-Chee Tsui received media interview.
I met many friends in the break. We discussed the science topics and took a photo for memory.
Photo with Ms. Brenda Lam (Electronic Engineer, SCL)
Photo with Dr. Ka-Sing Leung (Visiting Associate Professor, ABCT Dept., PolyU)
Photo with Mr. Terence S.S. Chan (Former Executive Administrator, HKAS)
I met Prof. Vivian WW Yam (Chair Professor of Chemistry, HKU) and she is Laureate L'Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science in 2011 for Asia.
Before next session, I met Dr. Daniel Ng (Shareholder & Director, Kun Hang Group) and he was ISIHK member.
Panel Discussion II – Science and Society
Prof. Dennis YM Lo (Li Ka Shing Professor, Medicine & Professor of Chemical Pathology, CUHK) was the host and Panel members were Prof. Jean Salencon (Former President, French Academy of Sciences), Prof. Chi-Huey Wong (President, Academia Sinica) and Dr. Julie Maxton (Executive Director, The Royal Society, UK)
The first speaker of this panel was Prof. Jean Salencon and his topic named “What Role for an Academy of Sciences?” He said “The Academies must be trustworthy, recognized as independent from any political, economic or social influence. Academicians should be very cautious regarding the funding of their researches due to the scrutiny of the Media.”
Prof. Salencon also said “Public opinion has a tendency to transform scientific doubt into doubt ABOUT science” and “Public choices require to conciliate Responsibility and Uncertainty”. Since moving form Uncertainty to Risk imperfectly addresses Risks with very high potential damage and very low probabilities of occurrence, the academies of sciences together with other Academies should vouch for the Scientific Integrity of the Assessment Reports. Then he quoted the report by the Academy on Climate Change (2010) to explain his approach. Finally, he quoted Obama (2009 Inauguration Speech) that “Restore science to its rightful place”.
The second speaker was Prof. Chi-Huey Wong and his presentation was “About Academia Sinica (中央研究院)”. Academia Sinica founded in 1928 and it was the highest-ranking academic institute in Taiwan which had conducted cutting-edge research in the sciences and humanities. They had 24 institutes and 7 centers with annual budget upto US$450 million; there were about 9000 employees and most of them related in life science.
Then Prof. Wong introduced different national level researches including Taiwan Photon Source, Homogeneous antibody with a universal Fc-glycan, etc.
Moreover, Prof. Wong explained their model from basic research to translational research and finally produced Startup in the following diagram.
The last speaker was Dr. Julie Maxton and her presentation title named “The Work of The Royal Society”. She introduced The Royal Society that was a National Academy of Science with about 1,600 Fellows and Foreign Members, as well as, over 80 Nobel Laureates. She also briefed some role of the society included “Promoting science and its benefits”, “Recognizing excellence in science”, “Supporting outstanding science”, “Fostering international and global cooperation”, “Education and public engagement”, etc.
Since I had another appointment in afternoon, it was pity missing the following session.
Panel Discussion III – Application of Research Findings
Topics were recorded as follows.
- “Non-invasive prenatal testing: from dream to reality” by Prof. Dennis Lo (Li Ka Shing Professor, Medicine & Professor of Chemical Pathology, CUHK).
- “Emerging viral diseases” by Prof. Malik Peiris (Tam Wah-Ching Professorship in Medical Science, Director of the School of Public Health and the WHO H5 reference laboratory at HKU)
- “OLED – the next-generation display technology” by Prof. Ching W Tang (Chair Professor of Electronic and Computer Engineering, Chair Professor of Chemistry and Chair Professor of Physics, HKUST)
After joined the summit, I set a target to be a member of ASHK after 10 more year in my scientific related efforts in 2025.
ASHK - http://www.ashk.org.hk/
ASHK Press Release - http://www.ashk.org.hk/files/press-release/Summit_Eng_Final.pdf