Fifth World Laureates Forum held in Shanghai

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A concept vehicle developed by Asahi Kasei Corporation, a multinational Japanese chemical company, is exhibited at the fifth China International Import Expo, November, 2022. (Photo by Tang Ke/People's Daily Online)
A concept vehicle developed by Asahi Kasei Corporation, a multinational Japanese chemical company, is exhibited at the fifth China International Import Expo, November, 2022. (Photo by Tang Ke/People's Daily Online)

By Huang Xiaohui, Yu Sinan,

The 5th World Laureates Forum was held in Shanghai on Nov. 6 and 7. It was joined by over 60 top foreign scientists from some 20 countries and regions in 12 time zones, as well as more than 30 academicians from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering.

At the click-and-mortar event, they shared the latest academic achievements, explored scientific cooperation mechanisms suiting new development trends, and discussed solutions to common issues facing humanity.

The forum, which included 21 sub-activities, witnessed global scientists’ appeal for openness and cooperation in the science community.

Michael Levitt, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and vice chairman of the World Laureates Association (WLA), noted that there’s no other forum in the world that could gather dozens of international science prize winners for inter-discipline exchanges like the World Laureates Forum could.

He called the forum an act of innovation, saying it reflected the importance attached by China to science and the country’s open attitude toward the world.

The first WLA Prize was awarded at the 5th World Laureates Forum, with each winner receiving a reward of 10 million yuan (about $1.38 million), which made the WLA Prize rank among the highest-rewarding science prizes in the world.

The 2022 WLA Prize in Computer Science or Mathematics went to American computer scientist Michael I. Jordan. When delivering an acceptance speech, he said only through international cooperation could machine learning and artificial intelligence embrace prosperity and achieve their targets.

Over the past five years, the WLA has gathered 162 members from 80 top laboratories and institutes in 25 countries, including 68 Nobel laureates. It indicates that open cooperation is a common aspiration of scientists around the world.

Shanghai is a fertile ground for international scientific cooperation. As of 2021, the municipality was home to 516 R&D centers of foreign companies and five representative offices of international science and technology organizations.

About 1/3 of the foreigners with permanent residence live and work in Shanghai, and the city has issued about a quarter of China’s total work permits for foreigners.

The permanent venue of the World Laureates Forum, located by the Dishui Lake in Shanghai, was put into use on Nov. 4, and an international R&D community was unveiled on the same day.
A number of joint labs are expected to be launched in the international R&D community by 2025 to attract top-notch scientists and young researchers from the world.

Sci-T Conference, one of the most popular sub-activities of the World Laureates Forum, was attended by many top scientists, young scientists and science-loving adolescents from home and abroad. They attended lectures, carried out fun experiments, displayed their creations, and experienced frontier technologies to feel the connotation of the science spirit. The conference ignited their passion to continue their pursuit of science.

This year, WLA laureates had a campus tour to have direct conversations with Shanghai high school students, and a Next Generation Scientists program was launched to foster young and promising middle school students.

At the 5th World Laureates Forum, top scientists around the world once again demonstrated their original aspiration of sowing the seeds of science. The event will keep bringing together top-notch scientists and “scientists of the future.”

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