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Nobel Laureates meet in Beijing
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By Wu Huanshu, China.org.cn staff reporter

Special report: Nobel Laureates Beijing Forum 2008

The "2008 Nobel Laureates Beijing Forum" was opened on November 11, 2008 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Under the theme of "The Harmony and Development of Human Kind", and with a focus on the annual topic of "Information & Innovation", the forum will last four days, to November 14.

Seven Nobel winners and 4 Turing Award winners have been invited to give academic lectures and discuss academic, social and industrial issues. This will provide a high-level platform for the Nobel winners, Chinese scholars, and Chinese government officials to exchange ideas and research latest trends in natural sciences to achieve the aim of international cooperation.

Not only scholars, but also some university students and research institute staff will have the lucky opportunity to share the laureates' ideas. One member of staff from the Institute of High Energy Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences said she had never dreamed she would have the chance to listen to these Nobel winners speaking in person.

Over the 4 days, Nobel laureates will also visit the Chinese Academy of Sciences to share Chinese scientific achievements. Five Nobel winners including 2006 Nobel Prize winner George Smoot will receive the title of Honorary Professor at five top Chinese universities like Tsinghua University.

On the first day of the forum, 8 Nobel laureates and Chinese scholars delivered lectures.

Lu Yongxiang: Informatization has become the tendency

At the opening ceremony of the forum, Lu Yongxiang, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that global informatization is triggering great changes in today's world and will lead to a new pattern in political, economic, social, cultural and military development in the world. It has become a universal option for all countries in the world to accelerate informatization development.

China has developed rapidly since the reform and opening-up policy was proposed 30 years ago. But Lu believed a combination development of informatization and industrialization should be the new trend for China.

Zhao Fengtong: Create "High-tech Beijing"

Zhao Fengtong, vice mayor of Beijing, believes that technological innovation is the most important area in the development of "High-tech Beijing". He emphasized four aspects: Develop Z-park (Zhongguancun Science Park, Beijing's Silicon Valley in Western Beijing) to a high-class technology district, and transform the vision of talented people to a vision of industry; promote applied technology; create beneficial policies and increase active use of capital in technology.

Zhores I. Alferow: New types of materials for the development of modern information technology

Zhores I. Alferow was a Nobel Prize winner in 2000. His talk focused on the basic rules of creation, physical phenomena and the application of semiconductor nanostructures in modern high-speed and optical electronics. He believes that modern optoelectronics needs to be based on heterostructures and that future high-speed microelectronics will mostly use heterostructures.

Ivar Giaever: The Nobel Prize and the future of science

Ivar Giaever is the Nobel Prize physics winner from 1973. His speech suggested that scientific activity is moving away from theoretical science to applied science. As well as a Nobel winner Mr. Giaever is a very humorous speaker. Although his speech covered serious scientific subjects, his words drew laughter from the audience.

He said inventions are the result of good ideas that are then pursued effectively. He also believed scientists need to concentrate their efforts on new discoveries and should avoid becoming involved in discussions about legal issues.

(China.org.cn November 13, 2008)

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