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China welcomes more foreign scientists


02-24-2017 10:44 BJT

Nobel laureate Chen-Ning Yang and Turing Award winner Andrew Chi-Chih Yao have become Chinese citizens and officially joined the Chinese Academy of Sciences as academicians. What does the return of these two renowned scientists mean for China's scientific academic field?

Nobel Prize winner Yang Zhenning and Turning Award winner Yao Qizhi, gave up their foreign nationalities to become Chinese citizens.

According the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the organization specially initiated procedures to accept them as academicians.

This has made many believe China's level in scientific research is changing.

"Professor Yang's contribution to science is beyond nationality and is irreplaceable. His presence here indicates that this is a world's leading research body," Zhang Ren, postdoctoral researcher with Tsinghua University's Institute for Advanced Study, said.

In 1996, Yang helped set up the Institute for Advanced Study in Tsinghua University, aiming to promote basic science research in China. Today, Tsinghua University is the country's top college in natural science research.

Many believe going abroad might be a better choice when it comes to a career in scientific research. However, Yang's return may change sentiments.

"It is enlightening -- even Professor Yang choose to return. China is experiencing huge changes, providing more opportunities for scientific research," Zhang said.

In 2008, China issued a recruitment program, in a bid to attract top scientists in science and technology. The Chinese Academy of Sciences currently has 78 foreign academicians, and this program ensures that top talent of any nationality are able to do scientific research in China. This also opens up a channel for Chinese scientists who hold other nationalities to return to China to conduct research.

Yang and Yao's return is sending a clear message that an individual's nationality should not be a boundary in science, and China is willing to let more scientists settle down here, not only because they were born here but also because the country is striving to build an environment with the best equipment, favorable conditions and social recognition with openness and respect.

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