Two physicists have received the top award ---- Zhang Cunhao, who has been working in chemical kinetics and engineering for more than 40 years and Cheng Kaijia, a pioneer and key figure in Chinese nuclear weapon development.
Friends and co-workers call 86-year-old Zhang Cunhao the Man in a Hurry.
Zhang views scientific research as a race, and the development of science and technology is a category in international competition.
In 1950, competition for energy resources intensified with the Korean War. Zhang Cunhao dropped a Ph.D. offer in the US to work on China’s development of water gas, a possible substitute for fossil fuel.
In the 1960s, Zhang Cunhao focused on rocket propulsion to boost China’s national defense technologies.
Since the seventies, he’s worked in chemical laser research, a completely new field for Chinese scientists.
"I want to combine my own interests with the country’s. But sometimes, my own interest must give way to that of the country." Zhang said.
Zhang is also a well-loved mentor for China’s next generation of scientists.
"He used to review my papers sentence by sentence, and word by word. His notes, and comments were all over. It was very meticulous. And I was very moved and grateful. The actions and the attitude of a teacher can affect his students, very often for a lifetime." Duo liping, researcher of Dalian Chemistry & Physics Research Inst., said.
Zhang initiated China’s Outstanding Young Scientist Fund.
Today, more than 3,000 young scientists and researchers, have received funding for their research from the program. (CNTV)
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